PLATTSBURGH — The deadline to register for the STAR property-tax exemption is Dec. 31, and at least 20 percent of homeowners in Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties have not yet done so.
As of Tuesday, 80 percent of those eligible in Clinton County had signed up for the exemption, which the State Department of Taxation and Finance says saves homeowners an average of $700 annually.
That figure in Essex County was 71 percent.
In Franklin County, 78 percent of taxpayers had registered.
Overall statewide, more than 2 million qualified homeowners had signed up either online or by phone, according to a media release from the Tax Department.
The registration is a one-time process that ensures those eligible will get the Basic STAR exemption in 2014 and beyond.
Senior citizens receiving the Enhanced STAR exemption are not affected by the new registration program.
The Basic STAR exemption is available on the primary residence of homeowners with incomes of less than $500,000.
A Tax Department investigation had determined that thousands were receiving STAR exemptions on more than one property, and so the new registration was set up to eliminate that double-dipping.
The State Department of Taxation said more than 2 million qualified homeowners statewide had registered for the STAR property-tax exemption as of Tuesday.
“If you’re eligible and haven’t registered yet, take a little time from your busy holiday schedule and register today,” Commissioner Thomas H. Mattox said in the release.
“It only takes between two and four minutes to complete the process online.”
The Tax Department hosted more than 200 in-person registration events across the state, and, at least once, sent direct mail to all of the nearly 2.7 million New York homeowners who claimed the exemption last year.
In November, reminder postcards were sent to 900,000 who had not yet registered.
To sign up, visit www.tax.ny.gov or call 457-2036. Online information is available in six languages, and translators will assist via telephone.
The STAR Hotline will operate for extended hours through the end of the year, from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.