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Posted on December 16, 2013 at 10:18 AM by PattiAnn Schultz
Don’t Forget to Register for STAR by December 31st!
Or better yet what I call the New York State Ponzi Scheme
If you are under the age of 65 and do not make over $500,000 a year, you must register for Basic STAR by December 31, 2013. If you have received a letter from the Department of Taxation and Finance, then follow the directions in that letter to register. If you do not have that letter or have misplaced it, please call (518) 457-2036 so you do not lose your STAR exemption.
For those 65 years of age and over meeting the 2012 income of under $81,900, you should apply for ENHANCED STAR at Town Hall. The deadline for this program is March 1, 2014.
Now, in my humble opinion, STAR is costing the New York State resident millions and millions of dollars because of the incompetence of this program. First, New York State wants you to pay your State Income tax by April 15th of each year and most residents comply with that request from the state. Now at the end of August, they in turn return to you, under the disguise of the STAR program, your OWN money to lower the bill you have to pay for school taxes. All the while Albany tells you that they have lowered your school tax bill when it is your money to begin with. Remember: New York State itself has no money; they get their money from you the taxpayer. Also remember that Monroe County ranks among the highest in the nation in property taxes compared to household incomes.
Then the state mandates your Webster local government to administer the STAR program through the Assessing Office thus costing you, the taxpayer, more money in your local taxes. The Town of Webster has to hire more help than otherwise necessary to cover the counter and countless questions and phone calls from residents inquiring about the STAR program. All the while other important property revaluation work is being put on hold while we service STAR customers.
Now, after spending this money in your local taxes to perform the work New York State requires Webster government to do, local government receives nothing in return. The town does all this work for the residents who reside inside the Webster Central School District for the benefit of those residents paying school taxes..
The ponzi scheme is that New York State is leading you to believe they are giving you a credit on your school tax bill when it is only your money that they are returning to you. New York State is not giving you a thing.
If New York State wants to continue with this silly notion of containing school taxes with rebates, then all they have to do to save millions of dollars a year in taxpayer mandated monies is to just put a little checkbox on the New York State Income Tax form and just refund to you the $600.00 via your New York State income refund check. Or, if you have to pay, then either take the $600.00 off of what you owe New York State or have New York State send you a check for the $600.00 separately. That way the local government does not have to get involved and New York State could save millions of dollars.
Well, this is just my idea for saving millions in taxpayer dollars but it will never be acted upon because it makes too much sense. We, the residents of New York State, strive to make things more difficult and cost more all the time.
If you should you have any questions about your town government, please feel free to contact me during regular business hours at (585) 872-7068; or email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ronald W. Nesbitt