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Huntington Asks State to Protect STAR Property Tax Relief

The Town of Huntington issued this release:

Board asks State Legislature to revise procedures that could see 5,000 Town property owners lose their exemption because of flawed process

The Huntington Town Board, at its March 8 meeting, formally asked the State Legislature to revise a process that could see up to 5,000 Town homeowners lose their BASIC STAR property tax relief because the State has been unable to determine their income.

In a unanimous resolution, the Town Board said the State Department of Taxation and Finance used unreliable data, incomplete records and a faulty computerized process to question whether the 5,000 property owners should lose their BASIC STAR benefit, either because their incomes are greater than the $500,000 cap or because their income could not be determined. The Town Board believes the process could have produced erroneous conclusions and substantial errors.

“We are concerned that the State may take away the BASIC STAR property tax relief from moderate- and low-income property owners who depend on it to help make ends meet,” Supervisor Frank P. Petrone said, “We are asking the Legislature to step in and establish a framework that will help ensure that persons eligible for the exemption are not unfairly removed.”

Originally, the State placed the burden of determining income eligibility on local assessors, who would have had to obtain and review income tax returns. The State recently changed the requirement so that assessors must collect the Social Security numbers of the owners and report them to a State website so an eligibility determination can be made.

“Even that places an unfair burden on local assessors,” Supervisor Petrone said. “It is one more unfunded mandate that Towns do not need.”

Councilman Mark Cuthbertson, who sponsored the resolution, said, “The Town of Huntington must now collect personal and sensitive information from our constituents, such as Social Security numbers, to aid in determining a resident’s BASIC STAR eligibility. The State needs to put a new mechanism in place that would deter collecting this sensitive information from the filing process and provide extensions to those who fell victim to the quirks of the new system.”

In other action, the Town Board:

— approved the purchase of the sculpture Dress Armor by artist Thea Lanzisero for display in the Anne Frank Memorial Garden in Dix Hills. The work has been on temporary display at the Memorial Garden for the past year. The cost of the sculpture is $7,600.

“I am very pleased that Thea Lanzisero’s sculpture, Dress Armor, will be a permanent installation at the Anne Frank Memorial Garden,” said Councilwoman Susan Berland, a sponsor of the resolution.  “The sculpture was chosen by the Public Arts Advisory Committee as a symbol of the elegance, poise and determination Anne Frank maintained as she endured the horrors of the Holocaust.  It is a very moving and appropriate component to the Anne Frank Memorial Garden that residents will be able to appreciate for years to come.”

— approved a contract with Terry Contracting and Materials Inc. to repair the gas vent pipes, wellheads and gas transmission lines damaged by the July 7, 2010 brush fire at the East Northport Landfill and to restore vegetation damaged by the fire. The contract is for an amount not to exceed $308,270, of which it is estimated $200,000 will be covered by insurance. The project will keep the Town in compliance with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation requirements.

— amended the Town Code to establish a multiple residence registry, require inspection of residences in the registry every three years to ensure compliance with Town standards and regulations and to establish inspection fees.

— approved a one-year, $33,000 contract with Organic Golf Maintenance and Design Inc. for engineering design services to continue the reconstruction of tees and bunkers at the Dix Hills Golf Course. The contract will cover holes two, three and four, the final three holes on the nine-hole course to be renovated.

— approved a $19,776 contract with the Deck and Patio Co. for design and construction of a rainwater harvesting garden at the corner of Broadway and New York Avenue at the Huntington Long Island Rail Road Station

— accepted donations of a scoreboard and associated materials at Veterans Park in East Northport from the Louis J. Acampora Foundation and a sound system at the Dix Hills Ice Rink from the Long Island Rebels Youth Hockey Club.

— approved a three-year contract with Cornell Cooperative Extension to run a shellfish enhancement and educational internship program at Gold Star Battalion Beach. The cost in the first year of the contract is $52,062.

— scheduled an April 12 public hearing on a proposed zone change that will allow construction of 16 units of affordable housing on Columbia Street as part of the Take Back the Blocks program.

“The Take Back the Blocks program is an integral component of the Huntington Station revitalization process,” stated Councilwoman Glenda Jackson. “ This public hearing regarding a zone change is a necessary step at bringing 16 proposed units of affordable housing to fruition on Columbia Street,” added Jackson.

— appointed members of the Building Homes for Huntington Heroes committee.

” I am proud to be able to commence our Building Homes For Huntington Heroes Committee in order to assist our first Huntington Hero, returning Marine Corps Platoon Commander Lieutenant James Byler,” said Councilman Mark Mayoka, who sponsored the resolution. “We embrace community participation and look forward to beginning the construction project.”

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2 comments to Huntington Asks State to Protect STAR Property Tax Relief

  • Becky

    So Dix Hills gets a $7600 piece of art work? waste waste waste and Huntington Station gets 16 more units of affordable housing.

    Got it.

    VOTE EM ALL OUT! SUSAN BERLAND WASTE WASTE WASTE! GLENDA JACKSON MORE HOUSING IN HUNTINGTON STATION!

    I only started paying attention because of the Aboff building and found the common theme in the room at Town Hall on Tuesday and met people who are very disgusted by what is going on. I thank them for opening my eyes and showing me how to be effective. I can vote and tell all my Huntington Bay and Lloyd Harbor friends to do the same. Not just vote! BUT VOTE EM OUT is my new mantra!

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