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09/27/2021 Assessment Community Weekly

Welcome to autumn! We look forward to seeing some of you (live or virtually) at the Assessors Association Conference in Niagara Falls next week!

Today’s edition is packed, so make sure to browse the entire newsletter!

Last call: State aid due date

If you conducted a 2021 reassessment and your final roll date is July 1, the deadline to apply for state aid is October 1. For details and application forms, see Aid for cyclical reassessments.

Reminder: October 1 is the deadline to comment on the preliminary appraisal methodologies for wind and solar power projects

If you haven’t already done so, the deadline to comment on the new methodologies is this Friday, October 1. See Appraisal methodology for solar and wind energy projects for details.

New questions and answers webpage: Following our webinar on the new appraisal methodology, we developed a new questions and answers webpage on the topic.

Updated Assessor data collection manuals

We are delighted to announce that, after 19 years, updated Assessor data collection manuals (commercial and residential, farm, and vacant) are now available online.

Many thanks to Manlius Assessor Patrick Duffy and the RPTAC Valuation Issues Team for their work to bring these to fruition!

You can see a list of all the changes, as well as the current team members, in the change document.

Bookmark the Assessor manuals landing page for access to the updated manuals, the exemption manuals, and associated documents.

Note: The associated RPSV4 update and the forestry manual will be updated shortly. We’ll let you know.

New look when you log in

Beginning Wednesday morning, when you log into the Online Assessment Community, the log in screen will have a new look:

Your current username and password will continue to work (unless the password has coincidentally expired, in which case you’ll be prompted to create a new password).

Important: Do not use the Create account link to request new access to the Online Assessment Community. If you need to request or change access, follow the instructions on the Online Assessment Community landing page.

Note: if you attempt to log into the Online Assessment Community Tuesday night between 8:00 p.m. and midnight, you may be unable to access the secure site for up to a half hour.

Q and A: STAR changes for manufactured homeowners

Last week we announced that, beginning in 2022, most manufactured homeowners receiving a STAR exemption will be required to switch to the STAR credit to continue receiving a STAR benefit. See the 09/20/2021 Assessment Community Weekly for details.

Some of you had questions that may be of interest to others. (Hat tip to Riverhead’s Laverne Tennenberg and Islip’s Jeanne Smith.) Here are some questions and answers to peruse:

Q. A manufactured home has been separately assessed because the owner qualified for the senior citizens exemption. The owner has also been receiving an Enhanced STAR exemption. However, their income will render them ineligible for the senior citizens exemption in 2022. May they continue to receive their STAR exemption?

A. No. Since they won’t be eligible for the senior citizens exemption in 2022, their unit will have to be included in the 2022 assessment of the park. STAR exemptions may no longer be granted to manufactured homes that are included in the assessment of parks. To continue receiving STAR benefits without interruption, they should register for the STAR credit. However, if they expect their income to go back down in the future, they also have the option of foregoing any STAR benefits for the time being and then having their STAR exemption restored once their senior citizens exemption is resumed and they are separately assessed again.

Q. A manufactured homeowner received the STAR exemption while their unit was included in the assessment of the park. In 2022, they’ll begin receiving the senior citizens exemption, so they’ll be separately assessed. May they keep the STAR exemption in 2022?

A. Yes. The STAR exemption they’d receive in 2022 would be considered the continuation of an existing exemption, not a new exemption, so it may be granted.

Q. May a new homeowner in a manufactured home park who will receive a veterans or senior exemption also receive a STAR exemption?

A. No. New homeowners are not eligible for the STAR exemption. New homeowners should register for the STAR credit. We recommend sharing this STAR fact sheet with new homeowners.

Speaking of the STAR fact sheet for new homeowners…

This is the time of year when assessors start thinking that the STAR handout mentioned above is out of date. We assure you it is not.

We don’t update the handout until January. Unlike the STAR exemption and other property tax exemptions, you do not need to own your home on taxable status date to be eligible for the STAR credit. Instead, for the STAR credit, you must own your home and it must be your primary residence as of the last day to pay school taxes without interest or penalty.

Some localities that don’t use the standard assessment calendar have school tax due dates as late as mid-January. As such, the online registration for the STAR credit will continue to ask for 2019 income information until that time. At that time, we’ll also release the updated handout for the 2022 STAR credit.

What about people who bought their homes too late for the 2021 STAR credit?

Homeowners who purchase their homes after the school tax due date should still register at their earliest convenience—and provide the requested income information. Our system will review their information. If the property received a 2021 STAR exemption, we won’t send them a STAR credit until 2022 (as long as they remain eligible).

What if the buyer purchased the home before the date that school taxes are due, but the seller received a check for the STAR credit?

This sometimes happens due to the lag after a property sells until we receive the sale data. If the seller receives a check they’re not eligible for, they should return it to this address with a brief note of explanation:

NYS Tax Department
Attn: STAR Credit Resolution Unit
W A Harriman Campus
Albany, NY 12227-0801