BRASHER FALLS - Brashers assessor says, with a deadline fast approaching, just over three-quarters of their residents have registered for the STAR property tax exemption.
Allen W. Fukes told Brasher Town Board members this week that 76 percent of Brasher residents have registered, while that figure is 79 percent overall in St. Lawrence County.
The state is cracking down on homeowners who may have registered multiple homes for the exemption in the past by requiring them to register for the basic STAR exemption by Dec. 31 to receive the exemption in 2014 and subsequent years. Registration can be done online at www.tax.ny.gov or telephonically at 518-457-2036.
The STAR program exempts homeowners from the first $30,000 of the full value of an owner-occupied, primary residence where the resident owner and spouse have combined income of less than $500,000 a year.
According to the state tax department, taxpayers save an average of $700 a year through the program. In Brasher, Mr. Fukes said it means a savings of $24.39 per $1,000 of assessed value, which translates to $658.
Its a significant savings for somebody, Councilman Mark Peets said.
Homeowners who receive the STAR exemption should have received notices about the registration requirement. But Councilman John M. Keenan said he wasnt one of them, and he wondered if there were others who had also not been advised of the need to register.
Mr. Fukes said he believed there were about a dozen residents who had contacted him to say they had received no notice.
Mr. Peets said he had registered, but wondered if they were supposed to receive some kind of notification such as an email to verify that their registration was successful.
Youre not going to get an email back, Mr. Fukes said.
Mr. Peets also asked if those with the enhanced STAR for those age 65 and older were required to register again. But, according to Mr. Fukes, they are not impacted.
We have several of those. They have to renew (with the assessor) as they have every year, Mr. Fukes said.
He said assessors are trying to get a handle on who hasnt yet registered for the STAR exemption. He said Darren W. Colton, county Real Property Tax director, has asked state officials for a list of everyone in the county who has not yet registered.
That data is also available from the state for town assessors upon request, according to Mr. Fukes.
He said he plans to send an email with his request and will receive a file containing the names of the Brasher residents who have still not registered. Once he has that list, he can contact the affected homeowners to let them know the deadline is approaching at the end of the month.