Still time to re-register for STAR tax cut

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | Only 58 percent of those who received the Basic STAR exemption in 2013 had re-registered as of mid-December, said assessor Al Hammond.

If you are eligible, but haven’t registered for the Basic STAR exemption that could reduce your taxes by several hundred dollars, there’s still time to get on the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance website at www.tax.ny.gov to register. You will need your STAR code and if you don’t have the code, call 518-457-2036 for assistance. You may also register by telephone if you prefer.

The state isn’t calling it an “extension” of the December 31, 2013, deadline to re-register, but spokesman Geoff Gloak said Thursday morning that those who get online and register will receive their exemptions. He didn’t indicate how long late registrations would be accepted, but said they should be done as quickly as possible.

The re-registration process was instituted under a new state law in order to combat problems of thousands of taxpayers receiving exemptions on more than one property. The exemption applies only to a taxpayer’s primary residence and applies to those who incomes are less than $500,000. Seniors with enhanced STAR exemptions were not required to re-register.

While local assessors haven’t yet been informed of which taxpayers in their areas haven’t registered, only 58 percent of those who received the Basic STAR exemption in 2013 had re-registered as of mid-December, assessor Al Hammond said. But he has no way to identify those who haven’t registered.

Still, past recipients of the Basic STAR exemption who haven’t re-registered will be getting letters from the state Department of Taxation and Finance within the next few days, Mr. Gloak said. If you’re not sure whether or not you have re-registered, you can check that on the state’s website, he said.

The state doesn’t want to see taxpayers “risk losing hundreds of dollars in benefits” for failure to re-register, he said.

“We’re still hoping everyone due for the exemption” re-registers, Mr. Hammond said.

He will be getting a list of those eligible for the Basic STAR exemption sometime in February, but that will be too late for those who have failed to re-register to get the tax cut this year, he said.

While more than two million taxpayers throughout the state have been re-registering for their School Tax Relief (STAR) tax exemptions and 71 percent of Suffolk County residents have done so, as of this week, only 58 percent of those who are thought to be eligible on Shelter Island have re-registered.

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