A state agency says a telephone campaign is underway to reach hundreds of thousands of homeowners around the state including St. Lawrence County to remind them to register for the Basic STAR property tax exemption.
As of last Friday, the Department of Taxation and Finance announced, around 80 percent of eligible homeowners in the state had signed up.
St. Lawrence County was at 81 percent, about in the middle of the pack. In neighboring Jefferson County, the rate was 78 percent. Hamilton County stood at 74 percent, and Essex County was at 75 percent. Franklin stood at 80 percent of eligible registrants signed up; Lewis County was at 82 percent; and Herkimer County was at 81 percent.
Within St. Lawrence County, the City of Ogdensburg and the Town of Potsdam had an 85 percent signup rate, the highest among townships, and at the other end of the scale, the Town of Rossie was at 80 percent registration.
“The deadline of December 31, 2013 is quickly approaching,” warned Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Thomas H. Mattox. “We’re reaching out to hundreds of thousands of homeowners who haven’t registered with a simple message – act soon to avoid losing this valuable benefit.”
Automatic telephone calls will deliver a short, pre-recorded reminder to homeowners who have not registered for their Basic STAR exemptions.
More than 2 million homeowners have registered for Basic STAR. That leaves 620,000 not registered around the state.
The Basic STAR exemption is available on the primary residence only of homeowners with incomes under $500,000. The new registration stems from a Tax Department investigation that found thousands of taxpayers receiving STAR exemptions on more than one property.
Senior citizens receiving the Enhanced STAR exemption are not impacted by the new registration program.
To register, visit www.tax.ny.gov or call 518-457-2036. Translators stand ready to assist speakers of all languages via telephone. The Department is offering extended STAR Hotline hours - 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.