Assemblyman Skoufis warns homeowners of STAR registration scam

Legislative Press Release from Assemblyman James Skoufis

Assemblyman James Skoufis (D-Woodbury), who sits on the Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection, warned homeowners of a new scam falsely requiring a fee in order to apply for the School Tax Relief (STAR) property tax exemption.

“Whether you are a new homeowner, existing homeowner or a homeowner applying for Enhanced STAR, enrollment is free and provides valuable tax relief to Hudson Valley families. It’s unfortunate the lengths scam artists will go to take advantage of people, and I will continue to work to put an end to these types of scams in our state,” Assemblyman Skoufis said.

Some new homeowners are receiving letters in the mail claiming they must pay a one-time fee equal to their first year STAR savings. First-time Basic STAR applicants must file with their local assessor for no fee. The Basic STAR exemption is available only on the primary residence of a homeowner with a household income under $500,000 and exempts the first $30,000 of the full value of a home

New legislation passed this year changed registration procedures in order to root out improper exemption claims which was wasting taxpayer dollars. Assemblyman Skoufis is encouraging all homeowners currently receiving a Basic STAR exemption to register with the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance by December 31 of this year by visiting their website at tax.ny.gov/pit/property/star13/default.htm or by calling 518-457-2036.

Anyone who may have experienced this fraud can contact the NYS Attorney General’s Regional Office in Poughkeepsie by calling 845-485-3900, or should feel free to contact Assemblyman Skoufis by calling 845-469-6929 or emailing him at SkoufisJ@assembly.state.ny.us.