Deadline For Applications For STAR Program Is Friday

Area homeowners have until Friday homeowners to apply for the School Tax Relief program.

The STAR program is available for owner-occupied primary residences on either the Basic STAR or Enhanced STAR levels.

“Chautauqua County homeowners are entitled to valuable school tax relief,” said state Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, R-C-I-Chautauqua County. “While the state no longer provides checks to residents, the STAR savings can still be seen in your school tax bills. I strongly encourage homeowners who may be eligible for the program to apply. It is especially important for taxpayers who will be turning 65 in 2013 to contact their local assessor to find out more about the Enhanced STAR program, which could provide additional savings on their property tax bill. These taxpayers, however, must act on or before the Friday application deadline.”

Residents who own their primary residence, including a one-, two- or three-family house, condominium, cooperative apartment or mobile home, are eligible to apply for the Basic STAR program. There is no age limit for Basic STAR and residents do not need to reapply each year, unless they move to a new primary residence.

Residents who turn 65 at any time during 2013 may be eligible for the Enhanced STAR exemption. In addition to being 65 or older, homeowners must the property that used as their primary residence, and the total annual adjusted gross income minus the taxable amount of IRA distributions of all the owners of the property must be $79,050 or less, based on 2011 income tax returns. Those meeting the qualifications must complete a separate application for Enhanced STAR and include a copy of their 2011 income tax return.

Online applications are available through the state Department of Taxation and Finance website.

The STAR Program is administered by each town or city assessor’s office. The amount of the STAR benefit is set each year by the state and is based on the type of property owned and may vary from year to year.