Assemblyman Phil Ramos (D-Brentwood) announced legislation he co-sponsored to amend the state’s School Tax Relief (STAR) program and make sure homeowners are getting efficient tax relief without burdensome delays passed the Assembly (A.5969).
“New Yorkers have spoken: STAR has become too complicated and homeowners have had to jump through hoops to get the money they’re owed and that’s why this legislation is so important,” said Ramos. “Switching back to an upfront deduction will eliminate the unnecessary burden of late reimbursement checks and help families get the initial tax relief they need.”
Under the changes, new homeowners and those who moved to a different home had to first pay a higher school tax bill and then register for a rebate check from the state. The savings remained the same, but the increased initial cost caused many homeowners to have a harder time paying their taxes, noted Ramos.
The Assembly legislation returns administration of the program from the state Department of Taxation and Finance back to local assessors. The state is also responsible for helping localities notify residents of these new changes so that all qualified homeowners receive the exemption. Under the legislation, the STAR exemption program would reopen to new applicants while the STAR credit program would sunset so all who were owed checks will still receive their credit. It would also allow homeowners who haven’t registered for STAR at least 60 days to apply for the exemption for the coming school year.