Homeowners must re-apply for STAR exemption

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For the first time in 15 years, all local homeowners will have to re-apply for their Basic STAR property tax exemption this year.

The state Department of Taxation and Finance announced Aug. 20 that it was mailing letters to all 2.6 million STAR recipients in the state with details for online and phone applications for the 2014 exemption. The deadline will be Dec. 31, 2013.

The new applications won’t affect 2013 exemptions. And seniors who received Enhanced STAR exemptions also are not affected.

According to the state tax department, Dutchess County residents will get their letters beginning the week of Sept. 9.

The Basic STAR exemption is available for owner-occupied, primary residences where the combined income of resident owners and their spouses is $500,000 or less. Married couples with multiple residences are only eligible to receive one Basic STAR exemption.

The change is part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2013-14 budget initiative to save state taxpayers millions by eliminating inappropriate STAR property tax exemptions, the state tax department said in a news release. It follows a Tax Department investigation that showed some homeowners were receiving the exemption on more than one property.

“This balanced approach protects the integrity of the STAR program and guards taxpayer dollars from those who seek to game the system,” Cuomo said in the news release.

“Local assessors monitor Basic STAR in their communities, but do not have the ability to know if an individual is receiving STAR in any of the other 1,000 localities statewide,” added Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Thomas H. Mattox

For more information, go online to www.tax.ny.gov or call 518-457-2036

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