12/11/13

Half of Brooklyn Homeowners Fail to Register for STAR

With the December 31 deadline looming, the city's Independent Budget Office reports that half of eligible Brooklyn homeowners are on the verge of losing their basic STAR state property tax exemption because they have failed to register.

An estimated $75 million in tax breaks is at stake.

This year, for the first time since STAR was enacted, homeowners, including co-op and condo owners, have to register to get STAR in fiscal 2015.  Just over half of the New York City homeowners who got STAR in 2013 -- about 250,000 households -- have registered so far -- well below the 66% registration rate statewide.

Homeowners can only get one STAR exemption. But a state comptroller's audit earlier this year found that about 20% of STAR claims were ineligible, mostly due to homeowners “double-dipping” -- trying to get the exemption for properties they owned, but didn't occupy.

The state imposed the registration system this year so that tax department assessors could start tracking the double dippers.

The IBO thinks that New York City's lagging registration numbers, coupled with the jump in registrations outside the city, could be the result of owners with multiple properties choosing to register their upstate homes because the STAR exemption is worth more outside the city.

Eligible owners can register online until December 31 at www.tax.ny.gov/pit/property/star13/default.htm or by calling 518-457-2036.

The nearly 100,000 senior citizen homeowners in New York City who get the Enhanced STAR exemption don’t have to register.

The post from the IBO.

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