When the 2021-22 school tax bills were issued, many homeowners experienced increases due to the Nassau County Executive’s reassessment project. But unfortunately, for at least 150 senior citizens, they also got another scare in time for Halloween – their enhanced STAR exemption had been eliminated. Instead, these seniors only received the Basic STAR reduction, which is only a fraction of the savings they would have received under Enhanced STAR.
Today, Hempstead Town Receiver of Taxes Jeanine Driscoll joined with Supervisor Don Clavin, Councilman Bruce Blakeman and Town Clerk Kate Murray to announce her findings, and to call on the Nassau County Assessor to immediately fix these errors to assist senior citizens, particularly during these difficult economic times.
“Losing this valuable money-saving exemption that helps provide significant relief to senior homeowners, particularly those on fixed incomes, is devastating,” Driscoll said. “Today, I call on the Nassau County Assessor to immediately correct these mistakes, ensure the restoration of this important exemption and to provide these senior citizen homeowners with relief as soon as possible.”
Driscoll highlighted the plight of one particular local homeowner who qualifies for both the Enhanced STAR exemption and a Senior Citizen property tax exemption. While the homeowner received both exemptions in 2020, the homeowner’s Enhanced STAR transformed into Basic STAR for 2021 --- resulting in a loss of over $1,500 in savings due to the error. Many of these homeowners also qualify for the senior citizen exemption, which means they have incomes of $37,000 or less.
“Our taxpayers, especially senior citizens struggling to make ends meet to stay on Long Island, deserve better,” Blakeman said. “The County’s reassessment, led by the County Executive, has already impacted hundreds of thousands of homeowners with tax increases, and now another blunder is costing our senior citizens a valuable property tax relief program.”
“Thank you to Receiver Jeanine Driscoll and her team at the Tax Office for uncovering yet another error of the Nassau County tax roll that has impacted over 150 of our senior citizens,” Clavin said. “We urge the Assessor to correct these mistakes right away as our senior citizens cannot afford to lose these important money-saving exemptions.”
Driscoll called on the County to look into this error immediately to see how it can be corrected and to expedite the savings to the affected seniors. “The Town of Hempstead is committed to helping homeowners learn how to reduce their property taxes through important exemptions,” Driscoll said. “These senior citizen homeowners were entitled to a robust property tax exemption. This error resulted in $200,000 in lost exemptions to those who can least afford to pay it. We call on the Nassau County Assessor to fix the errors and restore their savings immediately.”