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September 11th, 2013

Skartados advises homeowners to watch out for STAR exemption



Frank Skartados

Assemblyman Frank Skartados (D-Milton) announced that all homeowners receiving the Basic STAR property tax exemption will be receiving a letter from NYS Department of Taxation and Finance during the week of September 9th. This letter will provide important information on a one-time registration with the state tax department to continue this exemption. The registration requirement does not apply to seniors receiving Enhanced STAR.

"It’s essential for homeowners to carefully review the information from the state tax department, and to be diligent about registering, so they don’t miss out on savings in the future," said Assemblyman Skartados. "It’s important that we continue to reduce taxes on middle-class residents across the Hudson Valley."

The Basic STAR program has delivered millions of dollars in tax relief to residents across the Hudson Valley; however, in recent years, there has been growing evidence of some folks gaming the system. According to a 2012 report by the state comptroller’s office, improper STAR filings could cost taxpayers as much as $73 million by 2015-2016. The report found that nearly 20 percent of STAR exemptions should not have been granted because they were either duplicate or improper.

"As your Assemblyman, it’s my responsibility to you to ensure accountability and transparency in how your hard-earned tax dollars are spent," said Assemblyman Skartados. "That’s why I refuse to take taxpayer-funded travel pay or additional pay for my committee assignments. I believe every action should be taken to root out fraud and abuse."

In order to register, homeowners will need to provide basic information about themselves and their spouses, including their STAR code, which will be contained in the letter they receive during the week of September 9th. If for some reason a homeowner does not receive their STAR code in the mail by the end of September, they should call 518-457-2036. Homeowners in Ulster and Orange Counties may also visit www.tax.ny.gov for an online look-up of STAR codes. The online look-up feature is not currently available for Dutchess County residents, but should be ready soon.

Homeowners may complete their registration online by answering a few simple questions at www.tax.ny.gov/pit/property/star13/default.htm, or by calling 518-457-2036. Homeowners who do not register by the deadline of Dec. 31, 2013 risk losing their property tax reduction in 2014.

To assist Hudson Valley families, Assemblyman Skartados has put together a fact sheet on his website relating to Basic STAR registration at www.assembly.ny.gov/skartados. Assemblyman Skartados’ office is open weekdays from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. to answer any questions you have regarding Basic STAR, or any other community issue by calling 845-562-0888.

"My office is here to help you. I encourage you to visit my website, or give me a call with any questions you may have on the STAR program," concluded Assemblyman Skartados.


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