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09/21/2020 Assessment Community Weekly

Training schedule

The ORPTS Training Schedule is updated through the spring of 2021. We encourage you to enroll at your earliest convenience, but please bear in mind that the dates are subject to change if necessary.

Homeowner receiving inappropriate STAR benefit?

Now that most school tax bills have been issued, some assessors have reported instances where a property owner is receiving a STAR benefit they’re not entitled to. Here are some examples:

  • A homeowner is receiving the STAR credit on one property, but they bought a new home and now they’re also receiving the former owner’s STAR exemption on the new home.
  • The assessor didn’t apply changes from the Final Roll Corrections Report, and now some homeowners are receiving the Enhanced STAR exemption rather than Basic (or vice versa) on their school tax bills.
  • The assessor didn’t grant the Enhanced STAR exemption because he or she believed the property owners didn’t meet the residency, age, or ownership requirements. Now the assessor has information to confirm they are eligible for Enhanced.
  • The assessor removed a Basic STAR exemption in error.

If you have a similar case, first consider whether it can be addressed locally via a corrected school tax bill or correction of errors. If it cannot be fixed locally, email the case to We have the ability to issue bills for inappropriately received STAR benefits. Conversely, we can issue a check for a benefit that should have been received.

New legal Q&A’s

We’ve added three new legal Q&A’s to our website, including answers to these questions:

  • Is a BAR required to accept Form RP-524 if it was sent via email?
  • How do you file Form RP-5217 for a transfer that happened decades ago and the seller is deceased?

For the Tax Department’s non-binding legal responses, see Legal Property Tax Questions – Asked and Answered.

Reminder: We’ve updated the discussion regarding solar energy systems on that page to reflect the recent court decision in Matter of Cornell Univ. v Board of Assessment Review as it relates to whether such systems may be treated as real property, and if so, whether they may be eligible for exemption under RPTL 420-a.

If you have a legal question, submit it to your municipal attorney or your ORPTS Customer Service Liaison. Our legal staff is available to provide assistance to municipal attorneys and ORPTS regional staff upon request.

Congratulations to a slew of county directors who are moving on!

It’s not every year that we hear that more than 10% of the county directors are leaving their position to retire or take on new challenges! But, alas, we wish our outgoing friends the very best in their next pursuits (even if it leads back to assessment administration)!

  • Jim Caflisch (Chautauqua)
  • Karen Spafford (Cortland)
  • Robin Johnson (Ontario)
  • Tom Bloodgood (Schuyler)
  • Ed Homenick (Sullivan)
  • Jim Kirsch (Wyoming)

Judicial cases

New Judicial cases:

  • Matter of Brookdale Senior Living Solutions & Meriweg Latham LLC v Town of Colonie Bd. of Assessment Review
  • Tax Equity Now NY LLC v City of New York