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City of Kingston, N.Y.
Department of Public Works
25 East O'Reilly Street
(845) 331 0682

Recycling Instructions

Recycling saves tax dollars - recycle and keep your tax bills down. The Mayor and the Department of Public Works thank you for your cooperation! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call the DPW at 845-338-2114, or click on City Code 350 for rules and regulations.

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The STAR Program: At a Glance

The STAR Program Will:
Cut school property taxes for the majority of senior citizens by an average of approximately 45 percent beginning school year 1998-99.

Cut school property taxes for the non-senior homeowners by an average of approximately 27 percent when fully implemented in school year 2001-02.

Help senior citizens stay in their homes close to their friends and family by dramatically reducing their tax burden.

Make home ownership more affordable for thousands of New Yorkers whose dream of owning their own home was taxed away.

Provide taxpayers with more information - including the local uniform rate of assessment - so they can understand their property tax bill.

Hold public schools harmless for the STAR tax cuts by reimbursing them dollar-for-dollar and provide schools with an additional $2.7 billion through school year 2001-02.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. What is STAR?
STAR is Governor George E. Pataki's School Tax Relief Program that provides a partial exemption from school property taxes. All New Yorkers who own and live in their one-, two-, or three-family home, condominium, cooperative apartment, mobile home, or farm home are eligible for a STAR exemption on their primary residence.

There are two parts to the STAR program: the "Basic" STAR exemption and the "Enhanced" STAR exemption.

The Basic STAR exemption is available for owner-occupied, primary residences regardless of the owners’ age or income. Basic STAR works by exempting the first $30,000 of the full value of a home from school taxes.

The Enhanced STAR exemption is available for the primary residences of senior citizens (age 65 and older) with yearly household incomes not exceeding the statewide standard (maximum). For 2003 assessment rolls, the applicants’ 2001 income, based on their 2001 income tax return, may not exceed $62,100. (The definition of “income” for this purpose is provided later in this pamphlet.) A cost of living adjustment will be made to the STAR income standard again for 2004 assessment rolls and annually thereafter.

For qualifying senior citizens, the Enhanced STAR program works by exempting the first $50,000 of the full value of their home from school property taxes. For property owned by a husband and wife, or by siblings, only one of them must be at least 65 years of age to qualify for the Enhanced exemption. Their combined annual income, however, must not exceed the STAR income standard.

Applicants for the Enhanced STAR exemption need only be 65 years of age as of December 31 of the year in which the exemption will begin.

Q. How will I know how much STAR is saving me in tax dollars?
A. Along with unprecedented savings, the STAR program creates a Property Taxpayers' Bill of Rights that ensures property owners are better informed than ever about their taxes. As part of the STAR program, you will receive a school property tax bill or other notice that will clearly state the amount of the STAR exemption and your tax savings.

Other information on the tax bill will include the market value of your property; the percent of market value used in assessing property in your community; the total tax levy and percent change from the prior year; information about how to challenge your assessment if you believe it is too high; the uniform percentage of value being used in the assessing unit and the full value of each property. Property owners can also use this information to help decide whether their properties are being assessed fairly and correctly.

Q. What is the definition of income for the Enhanced STAR Exemption?
A. The combined income of all of the owners and of any owner's spouse who resides on the premises may not exceed the STAR income standard (maximum) for the applicable income tax year (for 2003 assessment rolls, income is based upon the 2001 income tax year). Income is defined as federal "adjusted gross income" [AGI] as reported on the applicant's federal or State income tax return, less the "taxable amount" of total distributions from individual retirement accounts or individual retirement annuities, both of which are commonly known as "IRAs".

Q. Is there a deadline by which I must file the application form?
A. Yes. However, deadlines vary across the state. Contact your local property assessor for the STAR application deadline for your area.

It is important to contact your local property assessor for deadline information for your area. Telephone numbers for your assessor are available in the "blue pages" of your local phone book. You can also call toll-free 1-888-ny-star-5 (1-888-697-8275) for your local assessor's telephone number or access a complete statewide listing of assessors on the office of real property services (orps) web page.

Q. Does STAR apply to all taxes on my property?
A. No. The STAR exemption applies only to school district taxes. It does not apply to property taxes for other purposes, such as county, town or city.

Q. What types of properties are eligible for the STAR tax cuts?
A. STAR will reduce school property taxes on your primary residence only. There is no one single factor that determines whether a property is your primary residence, but factors such as voting, vehicle registrations, and length of time spent each year on the property may be relevant. Your local assessor may ask you to provide proof of residency with the application. In addition, the assessor may occasionally request proof of residence after the exemption has been granted, to verify that the property remains your primary residence.

Q. Where do I file the STAR application form?
A. WITH YOUR LOCAL PROPERTY ASSESSOR. Do not file the application with the Office of Real Property Services, the Governor's Office or any other State agency.

Q. Are senior citizens required to prove their age?
A. Yes but only with the initial application for STAR benefits. The law requires satisfactory proof of age, such as a birth certificate or baptismal certificate. If those documents are unavailable, a hospital birth record, an affidavit of age from the Social Security Administration, marriage record, passport, military record, immigration documents or other reliable records that prove age are acceptable. Remember, for property owned by a husband and wife, only one of them has to be at Ieast 65 years old by the filing deadline as of December 31st of the year in which the exemption will begin.

Homeowners applying for the Basic STAR Exemption do not have to supply proof of age.

Q. What is meant by my primary residence?
A. There is no one single factor that determines whether a property is your primary residence, but factors such as voting, vehicle registrations, and length of time spent each year on the property may be relevant. Your local property assessor may ask you to provide proof of residency with the application. In addition, the assessor may occasionally request proof of residency after the exemption has been granted, to verify that the property remains your primary residence.

Q. How do I get my STAR tax cut?
A. For both the Enhanced and Basic STAR exemptions, you must file an application with your local assessor . The application has been made as simple as possible. Property owners who are granted the Basic STAR exemption generally will not need to reapply in subsequent years because the Basic STAR exemption is granted regardless of income. However, Basic STAR recipients will need to notify their assessor if their primary residence changes.

If you are a senior citizen applying for the Enhanced STAR exemption, you must demonstrate that the combined income of all of the owners of the property, and of any owner’s spouse who resides on the premises, is no greater than the income standard for the applicable income tax year. You may do this in one of two ways:

Option 1: Traditional method

Submit a copy of your income tax return(s) for the appropriate income tax year to the assessor with your STAR application by the application deadline each year.

Option 2: STAR Income Verification Program

Supply your Social Security Number(s) and authorize the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance to verify your income eligibility each year (starting no sooner than 2004). If you choose this option, you do not need to submit an application and copy of your tax return(s) to the assessor every year. To choose this option, you must complete form RP-425-IVP and submit it to the assessor along with a traditional STAR application and the necessary income tax return(s) by the application deadline.

Q. Where do I get the STAR application?
A. STAR applications are available from your local assessor. The applications also can be found on the internet.

Q. I own more than one residenbal property. Can I receive the STAR exemption on all the residences I own?
A. No. The STAR exemption can be applied only to your primary residence.

Q. I currently receive the existing low-income senior citizen exemption. Can I receive the STAR benefits and still keep my other exemption?
A. Yes. STAR requires that assessors apply the existing exemption and any other applicable exemption to the property's assessed value before applying the STAR exemption. This will result in greater tax savings for eligible homeowners.

In addition, low-income senior citizen homeowners who receive the Senior Citizen Exemption automatically qualify for the Enhanced STAR Exemption. As a result, they need only to file and qualify for the Senior Citizen Exemption, and they will receive both that exemption and the Enhanced STAR Exemption.

Q. What if part of my property is used for other than residential purposes?
A. If the property is an eligible type of property such as a one-, two-, or three-family home, and is the owner's primary residence, it is eligible to receive the exemption if the non-residential use is just incidental. It is the responsibility of your local assessor(s) to make this determination.

In addition, in the case of a mixed-use property where the property is used partially as the owner's primary residence, and partially for some other use, the portion of the property used as a residence would be eligible for STAR. Again, it is the responsibility of your local assessor(s) to make this determination.

Q. What is the definition of income for the Enhanced STAR Exemption?
A. The combined income of all of the owners and of any owner's spouse who resides on the premises may not exceed the STAR income standard (maximum) for the applicable income tax year (for 2003 assessment rolls, income is based upon the 2001 income tax year). Income is defined as federal "adjusted gross income" [AGI] as reported on the applicant's federal or State income tax return, less the "taxable amount" of total distributions from individual retirement accounts or individual retirement annuities, both of which are commonly known as "IRAs".

Q. What if I buy a new home?
A. Your STAR exemption is not transferred automatically. You will have to apply for the exemption on your new primary residence.

Q. Where can I get more information about the STAR program?
A. Please contact your local property assessor, or call toll-free 1-888-NYSTAR5 (1-888-697-8275) for your local assessor's telephone number. Please note that this is an 888 number, not an 800 number. You also can contact the County Director of Real Property Tax Servicesin your county. Information also is available from the State Office of Real Property Services (ORPS).

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