STAR exemption renewals due

The March 1 deadline for STAR exemption renewals is rapidly approaching and, according to Theresa Golden, the assessor for the towns of Lysander and Van Buren, many people have yet to turn their applications in.

"We still have quite a number of STAR exemption renewals that have not come in," Golden said, adding that last year's eligible residents in both towns were sent reminders in January.

Unlike the STAR rebate program, which was eliminated by New York state last year, the STAR exemption program is still in existence, and Golden wants to get the word out to eligible parties.

"We're concerned that the public is still confused about the elimination of the rebate program as opposed to the STAR exemption program," Golden said.

New York State's School Tax Relief (STAR) program includes the Basic and Enhanced STAR property tax exemptions. Both are homestead exemptions, which will appear on eligible residents' school tax bill.

Basic STAR is available to anyone who owns and lives (as their primary residence) in a property within town limits. There are no age or income requirements for basic STAR and property owners need to only apply once. Enhanced STAR is available to senior homeowners whose incomes do not exceed the statewide standard. Residents must be 65 years or older and meet the income requirement of $74,700 (2008 income tax return) to be eligible for enhanced STAR. They must also resubmit their renewal application every year.

"The exemption program is still in place and [eligible parties] need to resubmit their information by March 1," Golden said.

Applications for the STAR exemption program can be found at orps.state.ny.us, the web site for New York State Office of Real Property Services. Lysander residents should submit their applications to the assessor's office at Lysander Town Hall, 8220 Loop Road in Radisson and Van Buren residents should submit their applications to the assessor's office at Van Buren Town Hall, corner of Van Buren and Ellsworth roads in Van Buren.

For more information, call Golden's offices at 638-0839 (Lysander residents) and 635-7997 (Van Buren residents).

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