According to an update from Town of Lancaster Assessor Rebecca Baker, tax bills have been mailed. If residents have not receive their school tax bills, they should contact the Lancaster Tax Office at 683-1328.
In addition, New York state has mailed out the property tax relief checks. These checks are based on the following: the school district must have stayed below the 2% cap, the property owner has to be eligible for the STAR exemption and the amount of the check is based on income.
Not everyone will receive the same amount, Baker says. Contact NYS at 518-453-8146 with questions, or view the detailed information at www.tax.ny.gov/pit/property-tax-relief.htm.
In addition, the STAR Program has undergone more changes. This past year, NYS has:
Decreased the income limit for Basic STAR from $500,000 to $250,000;
Has offered the possibility of registering for the check program instead of receiving an exemption;
Required Enhanced STAR recipients to register in the automatic Income Verification Program where the state verifies the income eligibility;
And has offered the possibility of applying for the exemption after the March 1 deadline for good cause.
If residents are in the new STAR check program, Baker says they may be receiving their checks before Oct. 15, depending on when they registered. Contact NYS at 518-457-2036 with any questions or concerns.
“Because there are now so many different situations, please do not listen to or believe friends and neighbors regarding this issue. If you have a question, contact the Lancaster Assessor Office at 683-1311. We will advise you according to your specific situation,” said Baker.
The Assessor’s Office has also mailed out the Senior Aged Renewal forms and new Enhanced Exemption applications. All exemption applications and renewals are due by March 1, 2020. Residents will need to provide all income documents for 2018.
“The IRS changed the 1040 forms for 2018. As a result, we ask that you bring in your Federal and State Income forms to include all 1099s,” said Baker. “If you only received the Enhanced Exemption last year and completed the automatic Income Verification Program application, you do not need to renew.”
New York state, Erie County and the Town of Lancaster will not call any property owner asking for personal information over the phone.
There have been some reported cases of people — mostly seniors — receiving phone calls stating they are in jeopardy of losing their exemptions unless they provide their social security number, income, driver’s license numbers, etc.
Baker advises to not give information over the phone. To learn more, call 683-1311.
Published in the Lancaster Bee, Sept. 25, 2019