05/13/15 5:13pm
JULIE LANE PHOTO | Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. argues tax relief should be the top priority for the State Legislature in its final five weeks.

Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. argues tax relief should be the top priority for the State Legislature in its final five weeks.

The most important priority the State Legislature needs to concentrate on in its remaining five weeks is to provide real property tax relief, Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor) said Monday. In January, Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed what he called a “Real Property Tax Circuit Breaker Program” that would cap property taxes based on a percentage of household income. (more…)

04/11/15 12:00pm
Audubon Society Conservation Data Manager Tom Auer will try to rally support to save birds. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

Audubon Society Conservation Data Manager Tom Auer will try to rally support to save birds. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

Birds aren’t political.That’s why the National Audubon Society’s Conservation Data Manager Tom Auer hopes he’ll be able to engage his audience at Mashomack Preserve today in taking steps to protect the feathered population from becoming extinct.  (more…)

11/03/14 12:00pm
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced last week federal grant money that will be distributed to The Retreat, a domestic violence prevention organization based on the East End.

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced last week federal grant money that will be distributed to The Retreat, a domestic violence prevention organization based on the East End.

The Retreat, an East End nonprofit serving victims of domestic violence, is receiving $75,250 in funding through the Federal Family Violence Prevention and Services Act, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced October 29. (more…)

10/20/14 10:00am
Real estate agents say that while Community Preservation Fund revenues indicate the market has slowed on Shelter Island in 2014, they believe a number of pending transactions will show an improved market in the fourth quarter. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

Real estate agents say that while Community Preservation Fund revenues indicate the market has slowed on Shelter Island in 2014, they believe a number of pending transactions will show an improved market in the fourth quarter. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

Real estate sales continue to lag despite the appearance of market recoveries on both the North and South forks, but Shelter Island may still be the hidden jewel in the East End’s crown for some house hunters.

There are, however, finally signs that this year’s property sales could, by the end of 2014, surpass last year’s numbers on the island. Community Preservation Funds — a 2 percent fee buyers pay to acquire property on Shelter Island — still lag behind 2013 revenue. But there has been significant movement in the past two months.  (more…)

08/17/14 8:00am
JULIE LANE PHOTO | The Plum Island Lighthouse, built in 1869, is in disrepair with no government money to restore it. Stories persist that it’s haunted.

The Plum Island Lighthouse, built in 1869, is in disrepair with no government money to restore it. Stories persist that it’s haunted. (Credit: Julie Lane)

Tell people you’re visiting Plum Island and be prepared for a litany of the perils in store for you. You’ll be reminded of persistent rumors springing from dire biological experiments that have taken place there and that still might be going on.

Just one,“How interesting” would have been nice. (more…)

12/11/13 9:00am

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Riverhead Town Hall.

While many are turning their attention to completing Christmas shopping in time, there’s another December deadline that looms that has the potential to affect many Riverhead homeowners.

A new law requires homeowners re-register for the Basic School Tax Relief exemption by December 31.

Of the town’s eligible residents, 79 percent have re-registered, according to state statistics. But 1,401 homes have yet to apply, the records show.

The easiest way to re-register for a Basic STAR exemption is to file on the Tax Department’s website.

You will need your STAR code to re-register (check your mail from weeks back). If you don’t have the code, you can get it online or by calling the Tax Department at 518-457-2036. You may also call that number to re-register if you prefer not to do so online.

In re-registering, you should have Social Security numbers available for all owners and spouse

The state Department of Taxation and Finance won’t be notifying local assessors about those who have failed to re-register until February 2014, meaning it will be too late to get the exemption for next year.

The reason for the re-filings is a new state law aimed at eliminating fraud, state officials have said. Whether purposely or accidentally, people throughout New York who own multiple homes had registered for multiple STAR exemptions.

But that’s not allowed under the law. A homeowner has to prove primary residence by such documents as vehicle and voter registrations, and it’s up to the local assessor to make a judgment on eligibility.

To be eligible for the Basic STAR exemption, a household must have earned $500,000 or less.

There is no age requirement.

If you have never filed for a STAR exemption and believe you are eligible, you won’t be affected by the re-registration process, but you will need to file a Form RP-425, also available online.

Those 65 or older who receive Enhanced STAR exemptions aren’t required to re-register. Their eligibility is based on age and an annual income of $81,900 or less.

Throughout Long Island, there are 31 percent, or 175,092, who have failed to file, state officials said.

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