STAR program registration
All New York State residents who own their own homes can significantly reduce their school property taxes through the New York State School Tax Relief (STAR) Program), regardless of income.
The STAR Program provides school tax relief for homeowners, with the state paying a portion of those taxes for eligible homeowners. It is not a new source of funding for schools and does not reduce or increase actual school tax rates.
To receive the tax relief, homeowners must apply through their local assessor's office.
Beginning with 2011-12 school tax bills, the
savings resulting from the Basic or Enhanced STAR exemptions were
limited to a 2% increase over the prior year. There are two types of
Basic STAR is available for owner-occupied, primary residences where the resident owners' and their spouses income is less than $500,000
exempts the first $30,000 of the full value of a home from school taxes.
Enhanced STAR provides an increased benefit for the primary residences of senior citizens (age 65 and older) with qualifying incomes
exempts the first $63,300 of the full value of a home from school taxes as of 2013-14 school tax bills (up from $62,200 in 2012-13).
STAR exemptions apply only to school district taxes. They don't apply to property taxes for other purposes, such as county, town or city (except in cities where city property taxes fund schools - Buffalo, New York City, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers).
As of August, 2013, under new legislation, all homeowners receiving a Basic STAR exemption are required to register with the New York State Tax Department in order to receive the exemption in 2014 and subsequent years.
Senior citizens receiving the Enhanced STAR exemption are not affected by the new registration requirement. They must continue to apply annually or participate in the Income Verification Program. Applications for the Basic and Enhanced STAR exemptions can be obtained from their local Assessors Office.
Please note that the STAR (School Tax Relief) program is a state program that the district has no control over. The New York State STAR program is intended to be solely a state tax relief program—NOT state aid for education.
It is important for all taxpayers in New York State to understand how the STAR program works, because by taking advantage of it property owners can save hundreds of dollars a year on their school taxes.
For questions about STAR and property taxes and assessments, contact your town assessor or visit http://www.tax.ny.gov/pit/property