Majority Of County Residents Registered For STAR Before Dec. 31 Deadline

More than 2 million qualified homeowners statewide have now registered for the STAR property tax exemption.

The deadline is Dec. 31.

“STAR saves homeowners an average of $700 every year, but time is running out,” said Thomas H. Mattox, state Department of Taxation and Finance commissioner. “If you’re eligible and haven’t registered yet, take a little time from your busy holiday schedule and register today. It only takes between 2 and 4 minutes to complete the process online.”

Through Dec. 9, 79 percent of Chautauqua County homeowners and 76 percent of Cattaraugus County homeowners have registered for the exemption.

The Tax Department, which has hosted more than 200 in-person registration events across the state, has directly mailed at least once all of the nearly 2.7 million New York homeowners who claimed the exemption last year. In November, the Department sent reminder postcards to 900,000 who had not yet registered.

The registration is a one-time process assuring that homeowners will get the Basic STAR exemption in 2014, and beyond. Senior citizens receiving the Enhanced STAR exemption are not impacted by the new registration program.

The Basic STAR exemption is available on the primary residence of homeowners with incomes under $500,000. The registration stems from a Tax Department investigation that found thousands of taxpayers receiving STAR exemptions on more than one property.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo included the initiative in the 2013-14 state budget. He directed the Tax Department to develop a user-friendly system to eliminate inappropriate exemptions while making it simple for eligible homeowners to maintain their STAR benefits.

Registration is available online at www.tax.ny.gov or by calling 518-457-2036. Online information is available in six different languages and translators stand ready to assist via telephone. The department is offering extended STAR Hotline hours through Dec. 31 from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.