“The STAR program is about keeping money in the pockets of hardworking homeowners,” said Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara (D-Rotterdam). “Unfortunately some people have been fraudulently claiming multiple STAR exemptions, which we need to put an end to. By having homeowners register for the exemption via the NYS tax department we can better prevent fraud and the abuse of taxpayer dollars.”
In order to prevent fraud in the system, Santabarbara said all homeowners who currently receive a Basic STAR exemption must register with the NYS Tax Department in order to receive the exemption in 2014 and beyond. Once newly registered, the Tax Department will confirm eligibility in future years. Seniors receiving the Enhanced STAR exemption already must apply every year or participate in the Income Verification Program.
A state comptroller’s report from earlier this year found that improper STAR filings could cost New Yorkers up to $73 million in fraudulent claims by 2015-16. This new initiative will seek to stop people from claiming the tax breaks on multiple homes. To read the full report, visit http://tinyurl.com/SchoolTaxRelief.
Applications will be accepted between August 19th and December 31st. For eligibility information or to fill out an application, homeowners can visit http://www.tax.ny.gov/pit/property/star13/default.htm. Homeowners will need their STAR code, which they will receive in the mail along with instructions.
Assemblyman Santabarbara noted that homeowners who have questions or need help applying for STAR exemptions can call his district office at 843-0227.