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From the Desk of Assemblyman Charles Lavine: May 3, 2013

Prepare for 2014 STAR Exemption Filing

Homeowners, who first filed for New York State’s School Tax Relief program (STAR exemption) in 1998, are looking at some new regulations that will require them to register again in order to receive their 2014 exemption.

These new rules are tied to a New York State Comptroller’s report that indicates that abuse and fraudulent filings for the Basic STAR program, on the part of some people within New York State, have cost all of us as taxpayers millions of dollars to date and promised to cost millions more if nothing changed.

In response, new legislation was drafted that will protect all of us – as state residents - from waste and abuse. The new regulations require all homeowners receiving the Basic STAR exemption to register with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance in order to receive their 2014 STAR exemption.

I want to assure you that you need not do anything to secure your 2013 exemption. You will still receive that automatically.

While some things like penalties, fees and sanctions will change to ensure that further abuse of the program does not continue, much remains the same. The STAR program will still provide a partial exemption from school property taxes for owner-occupied, primary residences with an annual household income of $500,000 or less; regardless of age. Your school tax bill will provide the amount of your STAR exemption and your tax savings.

To be eligible, you must own and live in a primary residence that may include a one, two or three family residence, mobile home, farm home, condominium, cooperative apartment or multiple use property.

As the documented property owner receiving the 2013 STAR exemption, you will receive written notification in the mail at least 60 days prior to the registration deadline, which explains the timeline, procedures for filing and requirements for filing for the 2014 STAR exemption. Again, registration will apply to Basic STAR recipients. Seniors receiving Enhanced STAR will not be impacted by the registration process.

A schedule of penalties, fees and sanctions involving those who are found to have filed fraudulent applications are now in place to discourage abuse of the STAR program. Hopefully, going forward, it will continue to be a program of which New York State can be proud.

News

Last week was one of Oyster Bay’s biggest, most anticipated summer events, the Italian American Society’s St. Rocco’s Festival. Returning to its usually spot in Fireman’s Field on Shore Avenue, the festival was filled with amusement rides, live music, and great food and company.

“We come every year to St. Rocco’s with friends,” said Laura Regan of East Norwich. “The rides and awesome food make it a lot of fun.”

One of Oyster Bay’s newest summer traditions is Dancing in the Street, which takes place every Friday in July at the gazebo in town. Sponsored by the Oyster Bay Main Street Association, half of Audrey Avenue is closed off and a DJ is called in for a great night of community dancing from 7-9 p.m.

“This is a great tradition and a beautiful town,” said visitor Michaela Lachance from Cooperstown, NY. “Everyone is having a wonderful time.”


Sports

Oakcliff’s intensive training program provided a high level of competition last weekend at the U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship in Oyster Bay.

This year, the teams selected for the event were highly ranked through the United States, and several of the competitors are past and current Oakcliff trainees, including Elizabeth Shaw, Kathryn Shiber, Madeline Gill, and Danielle Gallo.

A total of 11 members of St. Dominic Track Team (grades 1-8) recently medaled at the Nassau-Suffolk CYO Championship Finals at Mitchel Field. In the finals, the athletes competed against the finalists from all three regions, representing more than 2,500 athletes from 23 other parishes.

In addition to the student athletes’ success, the track coaches were honored as well. St. Dominic CYO Track coaches Phil Schade (grades 1-3), Julie and Mike Keffer (grades 4-6) and Rich Cameron (grades 7-8) were selected by peer coaches in their region for the NSCYO Team Sportsmanship Award. The Saint Dominic CYO track program, in its second year, has already proven to be a force to be reckoned with and the young runners are among the best on Long Island.


Calendar

OB Band Concerts

Wednesday, July 23

Music Under The Stars

Friday, July 25

Annual Chicken BBQ

Saturday, July 26



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com