The latest scam aimed at new homeowners involves a legitimate New York State property tax relief program. This fee scam targets New York homeowners who are eligible to apply for the School Tax Relief (STAR) property tax exemption. The trick here is that you don’t need anyone to help you do this. You can apply for FREE.
The scam came to light when new homeowners reported they received letters with offers to enroll them in the STAR program for a substantial fee that, in some cases, equals the full amount of the first-year savings.
Generally, homeowners will save from $700 to $3,000 annually through STAR. Senior Citizens in the Lower Hudson Valley and on Long Island benefit the most from this tax exemption.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said, “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. 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 property tax exemptions funded by New York State and the program includes two types of exemptions:
- Basic STAR for homeowners with incomes under $500,000.
- Enhanced STAR for senior citizens with incomes under $81,900.
To apply for STAR:
- Outside of New York City, homeowners should submit an application to their local assessor’s office.
- New York City has a separate form, which homeowners can request by calling 311 if they do not have Internet access.
ALREADY ENROLLED? YOU NEED TO REGISTER AGAIN.
- Register online at www.tax.ny.gov. The material is available in seven languages.
- Call 518-457-2036 to register by phone.