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STAR Property Tax Reduction in New York

Lately, I’ve been asked a lot of questions regarding the Basic and Senior Enhanced Star Property Tax exemptions in New York State. In order to receive the exemption, you must own and reside in your home, and file in a timely manner to the proper office, which depends upon where you live. In Nassau County, you must apply before the end of the year at the Nasau County Clerk’s Office in order to receive the exemption for the following year. Once you apply for basic star, you do not have to reapply. You will need a copy of your Deed, which you can get at the County Clerk’s Office if you do not have it. If you do not live in Nassau County, refer to the New York State Governor’s Office for the time-frames and filing offices for your particular area, as well as other useful information regarding the Star programs. It is so easy to apply for the exemption that it would be a shame for anyone to miss out on receiving it, especially with the continuously rising school taxes in New York. If you buy a property that already has a Basic Star Exemption, you will get the exemption for the remainder of the tax year, but will need to apply in your own name to continue receiving the exemption.If you are buying a property, you should check to see if Senior Enhanced Star, Veteran’s Exemptions, or other exemptions are in effect, since you will have a rude awakening when the tax assessor catches up with you. You will be required to pay the restored taxes retroactive to the date of transfer, and your taxes will most likely increase substantially. This also happens in estate situations, where restored taxes are due retroactive to the date of death of the owner. The estate will be responsible for the restored factor to the date of transfer, and the new owner from that date forward.

Senior Enhanced Star applies to persons sixty-five years or older (by December 31st of the year applied for) who earn less than $66,050 combined income for 2006-2007. This amount changes each year, and the exemption must be renewed each year, or it will be lost. Although there are a limited number of exceptions (siblings and spouses), generally all owners will need to reach the age requirement. Proof of income, by way of tax returns, is also required each year. There is also a form for automatic income verification each year

Cynthia M. Burke,

Categories: Real Estate Law