Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today advised taxpayers to beware of solicitations offering a fee-based service to apply for the School Tax Relief (STAR) property tax exemption -- when homeowners can apply for free.
New homeowners have received letters offering to enroll them in the STAR Program for a substantial fee equivalent to the full amount of the taxpayers' first year savings -- which averages $700 statewide and can be as high as $3,000 for senior citizens in the Lower Hudson Valley and on Long Island. An example of these letters can be viewed here.
"New Yorkers should not be fooled: registration to the STAR Program is free, convenient, and provides taxpayers with hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of dollars in property tax relief each year," Governor Cuomo said. "I encourage any homeowner not receiving a STAR exemption to apply on their own and avoid disingenuous schemes that seek to charge you for the tax relief that is rightfully yours."
STAR exemptions are the only New York State-funded property tax exemptions. There are two STAR exemptions: Basic STAR for homeowners with incomes under $500,000, and Enhanced STAR for senior citizens with incomes under $81,900. The deadline to register for the STAR Program is December 31, 2013.