NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — A number of New Yorkers may have tossed their tax breaks out with their junk mail.
For 15 years, Dorothy Winter has received her property tax discount from the state’s Star Program automatically.
“It does reduce my taxes so anything that does that is a help because the taxes keep going up and up a little bit every year,” she told CBS 2′s Kristine Johnson.
This year, the state did things differently and some homeowners could be missing out on their money.
“I thought it should have been more personalized. It just said ‘property owner’ and your address and most of that kind of thing you rip up because you don’t pay attention to that kind of mail,” Garden City resident Dawn DiGregoria said.
Residents who tossed their letters do have options.
“They just need to come on to our website and find their property or call us and we will give them the information they need to register,” New York State Tax Department spokesman Tim Maher said.
The state made the change in an effort to root out fraud and find homeowners who were claiming more than one exemption. Despite the extra work many residents were supportive.
“If it’s a problem then that’s what you have to do. You have to have people re-register,” one person said.
Winter said it was a good lesson and that you never know what may come in the mail.
“You have to open every piece even if it’s junk mail and then you throw it out after that. You have to open it first,” she said.
The deadline to re-apply is December 31. Nearly 50-percent of those who qualify have already re-registered, according to the state.
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