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Department of Taxation and Finance

Assessment Community Weekly 09/03/19

We hope all of you had a great Labor Day Weekend!

This week, we have three topics related to Enhanced STAR good cause, along with answers to some of your recent STAR-related questions.

School tax bill season can also be good cause season

Reminder: If you’re contacted by a senior who did not receive the Enhanced STAR exemption on their tax bill, please have them follow the standard good cause process.

Good cause acceptance letters for property owners

After we approve a senior for an Enhanced STAR exemption as the result of a good cause application, the assessor has the opportunity to notify us of any eligibility issues. If there are no eligibility concerns, we notify the assessor or the school district (depending on the timing) to grant the Enhanced STAR exemption. In addition, we send the senior this letter.

Reminder: Send any good cause eligibility changes to us by Thursday

On Friday, August 29, our ORPTS Regional Teams sent new lists of Enhanced STAR good cause recipients to assessors and county directors. If you have reason to believe that any of the properties on the list are not eligible for the exemption due to ownership, age, or residency, by Thursday, September 5, send an email to real.property@tax.ny.gov with Good Cause and your Muni Code in the subject line. Include the following:

  • Why the property is ineligible
  • Property owner name
  • Property address
  • Property key

Following the five-day review period for assessors, we will send school districts updated lists of approved good cause recipients.

If you have not already transmitted your roll to the school district, please update the roll by providing the Enhanced STAR exemption to the properties on the list. If you have already transmitted the roll, the school district or school tax bill processor will be able to make changes as they receive lists of approved good cause Enhanced STAR recipients from us.

Thank you for your continued assistance!

Your STAR Questions

Q. In light of recent legislative changes, will assessors continue to have a role in determining STAR eligibility for 2020 rolls?

A. The 2019-2020 Enacted State Budget authorizes the Tax Department to verify STAR eligibility based on age and residency, which builds on our previous authorization to verify income eligibility.

Assessors will continue to determine eligibility annually for all reasons except income. (Note that in the first year of an Enhanced STAR exemption, the assessor will also make the initial income eligibility determination.)

If we have additional information that indicates a property owner is not eligible for a STAR exemption, we will notify the assessor and the property owner.

Q. If a property owner switches from the STAR exemption to the STAR credit, is the assessor still required to retain the STAR applications from prior years?

A. Yes. The required retention period for exemption applications is six years from the expiration of the exemption. Once the property owner ceases to receive the exemption for any reason, the application cannot be discarded until six years have passed.

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