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September 3, 2013

In Our Opinion: Cheers

To New York for finally creating a statewide registry of Basic STAR recipients.

The state Tax Department recently unveiled the online registration platform for homeowners receiving the property tax exemption. The system is designed to eliminate inappropriate exemptions.

The exemption is available for owner-occupied primary residences where the combined income of resident owners and their spouses is $500,000 or less. A Tax Department investigation, however, showed that some homeowners were receiving the exemption on more than one property, which helped prompt this registration initiative. 

Homeowners will not have to re-register every year as, based on the information provided in the registration process, the Tax Department will monitor homeowners’ eligibility in the future. Senior citizens who receive the Enhanced STAR exemption will not have to register.

“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,” said Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Thomas H. Mattox in a media release. “This is the first registration in the STAR Program’s 15-year history, and it will eliminate inappropriate and fraudulent exemptions.”

We applaud the state for taking this simple, common-sense step to close this loophole that has cost the state and local communities untold tax money.


To the “Weekend Smash” event to benefit the Oneonta Outlaws.

“As we use the field, we’re finding out that there’s a lot of things that are not there that we need, which are very expensive,” owner Gary Laing said. “We’re finding these things out so that, in the future, we can make improvements to the field and the area around it.”

The two-day event featured a casino night on Friday, a family day at Damaschke Field on Saturday, and closed with a performance by folk-rock band America on Saturday night..

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