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New Basic STAR exemption requires registration by homeowners

— The county legislature’s Ways and Means Committee received a detailed presentation from New York State’s Department of Taxation and Finance (DTF) on new legislation pertaining to the Basic STAR exemption. What we learned is simple: All homeowners receiving Basic STAR benefits must register with DTF by Dec. 31 in order to receive the exemption in 2014 and beyond. Senior citizens already receiving Enhanced STAR benefits are not impacted by this new legislation.

The state’s primary goal for this initiative is to eliminate intentional fraud and unintentional duplicate exemptions, which costs taxpayers millions annually. Homeowners will begin receiving notification of the new process this month. While your local assessor’s office may continue to be a source of information and guidance, and the place where new STAR applications are submitted, the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance is now solely responsible for the legislation’s new registration and appeals processes.

Registration may be accomplished through the DTF website at www.tax.ny.gov, or over the phone, (518) 457-2036. The process has been made very simple:

Provide the STAR Code and confirm the property address (STAR Code is provided in the notification letter, also may be found on the DTF website);

Supply owners’ and spouses’ names and Social Security numbers;

Confirm property is the primary residence and disclose any residency-based benefits from other states; and

Confirm owners’ combined federal adjusted gross income was less than $500,000 in 2012.

Questions and assistance with any aspect of the process are best addressed by the DTF at the website and phone number listed above.

The state is so committed to the new STAR process, it will be conducting public relations/awareness campaigns and assisting taxpayers at registration kiosks during the New York State Fair. From my simple perspective, I just want to make sure we all continue to benefit from any property tax relief available from our over-burdening state.

Judy Tassone represents the fourth district, which includes the town of Salina, the village of Liverpool and portions of the town of Geddes. Judy welcomes constituent feedback; she can be reached by email at jtasson3@verizon.net or at home, 457-5458.

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