In the April 2016 Budget, the NYS Legislature significantly changed the way the entire STAR program works. New exemptions on the school tax bill were prohibited, and replaced by tax credits (in the form of checks mailed to you) from NYS Department of Taxation and Finance if the applicant registers with them. Pre-existing exemptions are unaffected if they were rightfully approved on the 2015 assessment roll. Pre-existing Enhanced exemptions used to continue to renew in our office annually. That is now changed.
In the April 2018 Budget, the NYS Legislature significantly changed the renewal process for seniors who continue to receive the STAR exemption on their school tax bill. A final renewal application was required to be filed by March 1, 2019 with the local Assessment Office if the senior was not already participating in the Income Verification Program (IVP) for Enhanced (senior) STAR. The IVP program used to be optional. It is now mandatory. Once this final renewal application and the mandatory IVP form was filed with the local Assessment Office, all communication concerning the existing Enhanced STAR exemption shifted to New York State. No renewal applications will be processed locally after March 1, 2019.
As currently legislated, the “upgrade” from Basic to Enhanced STAR exemption (discount on the tax bill) will continue to be by local paper application with the Assessment Office. Any person who currently receives Basic STAR (under age 65) as an exemption on their school tax bill may convert their exemption benefits to the Enhanced STAR level by applying locally in the Assessment Office by March 1st of the calendar year in which the owners (or one of the owners in the case of spouses & siblings) will turn age 65. Many people whose birth date falls after March 1 mistakenly wait for their actual birthday to arrive before applying, and thereby miss the first year that they are eligible. At the time of that application to “upgrade” their benefits, the applicant(s) will be required to enroll in the IVP program, and all future communication concerning their Enhanced STAR exemption benefits will be managed by the State.
REMEMBER: NYS Department of Taxation and Finance WILL NOT call you on the phone to ask you about your personal information. They will send you a letter, asking you to respond in some way. NEVER give out your personal information to a caller you do no know. NEVER.
To learn more, visit the STAR Quick Links below or call the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance Call Center at: (518) 457-2036.