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Don’t Miss Out: STAR Program Re-Application Deadline Is On Dec. 31

Officials Struggling To Get The Word Out On Savings Averaging $700 Per Year

HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers could lose out on big savings if they don’t meet a looming deadline for tax relief. What used to be an annual automatic re-enrollment in the STAR program now requires homeowners to re-apply.

And as CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported Monday, time is running out.

Maria Aliperti said she just saved herself more than $600 per year.

“I just found out the other day. I didn’t know. I thought it was automatic,” Aliperti said.

She almost missed out on tax relief on her Nesconset home. So may 800,000 other New Yorkers who have still not re-applied for the STAR property tax exemption.

Those who don’t re-register by years end will lose out on school tax relief.

“Everybody that is already receiving it needs to register again to continue to have that tax savings,” said Sheryl Klewicki of the New York State Office of Taxation and Finance.

Officials from that office are manning help desks in in Hauppauge and Brooklyn, walking homeowners through the three-minute process that can save on average $700 per year. It can also be done online or over the phone.

“It was very easy and painless,” one New Yorker said.

However, what hasn’t been easy is getting word out to 2.7 million New Yorkers.  The state sent out letters and reminder postcards. Officials also aired public service announcements.

But still nearly one-third of Long Islanders and half of New York City homeowners have still not re-registered. The Dec. 31 deadline is looming.

The reason for the mass re-registration is the state trying to weed out cheats. A study found widespread double dipping: homeowners taking the exemption on more than one home.

STAR is for primary residences only and homeowners whose combined income is less than $500,000.  Once re-registered, there is no need to reapply. The state will monitor your future eligibility.

Seniors who are receiving an enhanced STAR exemption are not impacted by the new registration requirement, Gusoff reported.

For information on how to re-apply by phone, please call 518- 457-2036. To re-apply online, go to tax.ny.gov.

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