The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Reporter's Notebook

December 14, 2013

Clock is ticking on STAR for homeowners

More than 2 million qualified homeowners statewide have registered for the STAR property tax exemption, according to the state Department of Taxation.

But thousands of other homeowners, including hundreds in local municipalities, have yet to register for the tax-reduction program by the Dec. 31 deadline.

“STAR saves homeowners an average of $700 every year, but time is running out,” said Commissioner Thomas H. Mattox, said in a media release. “If you’re eligible and haven’t registered yet, take a little time from your busy holiday schedule and register.”

The Department of Taxation has directly mailed at least once all of the nearly 2.7 million homeowners who claimed the exemption last year. Last month, the department sent reminder postcards to 900,000 homeowners who hadn’t registered.

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

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

Between 70 percent and 79 percent of eligible households have registered in Otsego, Delaware, Chenango and Schoharie county region as of Dec. 9, the state said.

Delaware County responses were 73 percent with 2,390 properties unregistered by Dec. 9. Chenango had a 74 percent response rate with 2,583 properties. In Otsego County, the response rate was 71 percent with 3,308 properties unregistered, and in Schoharie County, 77 percent had responded with 1,451 properties unregistered.

In the city of Oneonta, 79 percent of properties are registered with 273 remaining.

To register, visit www.tax.ny.gov or call (518) 457-2036. Through Dec. 31, the department is offering extended STAR registration hours of 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.

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