ITHACA, N.Y. — The deadline for any Real Property Tax Exemption is coming up Wednesday, March 1.

The tax exemption includes, but is not limited to, the Senior Citizen Exemption, the Enhanced STAR Exemption and the Disability Exemption. As of Thursday, the Tompkins County Department of Assessment has 730 outstanding applications.

The Enhanced STAR exemption, which is a school property tax exemption, can save seniors about $500 to $600 more in tax savings while the Senior Citizen/Disability exemption can save thousands if a person is eligible, according to the county assessment department.

A common misconception with the senior exemption is that the income tax return must accompany the application.  But, if the application is filed by Wednesday, March 1, the assessment department said it can take the income tax return at any point up to April 15.

Because New York is transitioning from the STAR exemption to the STAR Check Credit, the department of assessment is reminding any new property owners to register for their STAR Check Credit with the state at www.tax.ny.gov/star.

The department is also encouraging any new home owner as of March 1, 2016, but prior to Dec. 31, 2016, that did not receive the benefit of the Basic STAR exemption on their 2016-2017 School Tax Bill to call the state at 518-457-2036 to be certain of receiving the benefit for the past year.

Homeowners are eligible for the Enhanced STAR exemption in 2017 if they are 65 years of age or older and have an income that did not exceed $86,000 for the 2015 tax year. For property jointly owned by spouses or siblings, only one of the owners must reach age 65 this year. Eligibility is based on the combined income of the owners. Homeowners who exceeded the $86,000 income limit may still be eligible to receive the “Basic” STAR exemption.

If a property owner has any questions regarding exemptions, they can call 607-274-5517 or email the Tompkins County Department of Assessment at assessment@tompkins-co.org.

Kelsey O'Connor

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at koconnor@ithacavoice.com and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.