Middle Class STAR Applications are in the Mail

September 10, 2007

This year’s state budget set aside an additional $1.3 billion for the creation of a new Middle Class STAR rebate program. If you are currently enrolled in the STAR program and have a household income less than $250,000, you qualify for a greater refund this year through the new rebate program.

If you are already in the Enhanced STAR program, your rebate check will automatically be mailed to you. If you are in the Basic STAR program, keep an eye on your mailbox because the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance recently mailed applications to all eligible property owners in the Finger Lakes region.

Homeowners have until November 30 to apply for the rebate. Once you receive your paper application, the quickest and simplest method of redeeming your rebate is over the internet by visiting the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance’s online Middle Class STAR rebate application at www.nystax.gov. To use the online application, you must enter the STAR code for your property (which is located on the pre-printed application you received in the mail) and the names and social security numbers of all resident property owners and their spouses.

The Department of Taxation and Finance intends to send out rebate checks on a rolling basis based on the dates applications are received. Rebates will vary depending upon your exemption, income and the school district in which you live. To determine your rebate amount, the department’s website provides an interactive form that will display your rebate amount. On average, eligible homeowners can expect double the rebate they received last year.

Answers to the most commonly asked questions can be found on the department’s website and those with additional concerns can contact the special STAR hotline toll-free at 1-800-678-2769.

The STAR program has provided substantial help treating the symptoms of high taxes; however, it does not do enough to tackle the underlying problem of controlling property tax hikes. That’s why I am working to provide solutions that provide permanent relief. My colleagues and I in the Assembly Minority Conference have introduced the “Property Taxpayer Protection Act,” which will cut, cap and control property taxes through several initiatives, such as limiting unfunded state mandates and providing local government incentives to consolidate. Enactment of this bill, as well as increased state aid to our schools and cost savings realized from cracking down on Medicaid fraud, waste and abuse, will help us keep property tax levies low and under control.