By Ashley Hupfl
ALBANY Over one million homeowners have registered with the state for basic STAR exemptions in the first six weeks, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday.
State homeowners with an income under $500,000 may apply for STAR exemption on their primary residence. The exemption saves homeowners an average of $700 per year. The deadline to apply for STAR exemption is Dec. 31.
Last year, the Department of Taxation and Finance released a report that found thousands of homeowners with multiple properties receiving more than one STAR exemption. The new registration process is to ensure households receive only one STAR exemption.
"In just six weeks, more than one million homeowners have registered for their STAR exemptions, a huge boost in our efforts to protect New Yorkers from fraud in the program while ensuring eligible homeowners continue to receive tax relief they deserve," Cuomo said in a statement.
By Oct. 10, all previous 2.6 million basic STAR homeowners will have received letters to encourage registration, the state said. Homeowners must apply with the state even if they applied with local assessors. Seniors receiving enhanced STAR are not affected by the registration.
More than 90 percent of homeowners who have registered did so through the Tax Department's website, the state reports. The Tax Department have also been registering homeowners at more than 175 local events. More than 3,000 homeowners registered at the State Fair alone.
"The response has been impressive to date, particularly with only 80% of letters delivered thus far," Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Thomas Mattox said in a statement. "If you're one of the homeowners who have yet to register, don't delay - visit our website to register today."
Homeowners can register:
• Online at: www.tax.ny.gov
• Or call: 518-457-2036
• The Tax Department is providing extended call center hours for STAR Registration: 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. Representatives will also be available on Columbus Day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.