More than one million homeowners have so far registered for STAR according to Governor Cuomo. All homeowners receiving the Basic STAR benefit (available on the primary residence of homeowners who earn less than $500,000) must register with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance by Dec. 31 to continue receiving STAR exemptions in 2014 and subsequent years.
By now you should have received in the mail instructions – including a STAR code necessary for registration from the New York State tax department if you are currently receiving the Basic STAR exemption. While this registration is required to receive your exemption, homeowners will not need to re-register every year.
It is important to note that seniors who receive Enhanced STAR will NOT need to register to continue participation in the program. Enhanced STAR recipients must continue to apply every year, or participate in the Income Verification Program like they have in the past. Additionally, first-time applicants are not affected by this year’s registration procedure and must file Form RP-425, Application for School Tax Relief Exemption, with their local assessor.
The new requirement to register for STAR was included in the 2013-14 state budget to help improve the program and safeguard taxpayer money. Improper STAR exemptions cost New Yorkers an estimated $13 million in 2010-11, and that could increase to $73 million by 2015-16. To support the registration effort and to discourage fraud and abuse of STAR, individual fines and penalties were incorporated into the program for intentional misinformation and if the exemption is revoked.
The fastest and easiest way for homeowners to register is through the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance’s website at www.tax.ny.gov. Registration and support is also available over the phone by calling 518-457-2036. If you would like to speak with me about this or any other community issue, call 718-434-0446 or email me at [email protected].
The author represents the 42nd Assembly District, which includes sections of the Flatbush, Flatbush Gardens, Midwood, and Victorian Flatbush neighborhoods of Brooklyn. She serves in the leadership as the Assistant Speaker, and on the Rules, Ways & Means, Health and Insurance Committees as well as the Task Force on Women’s Issues and the Task Force on New Americans.