The New York State School Tax Relief (STAR) program provides eligible homeowners with relief on their property taxes. If you’re a STAR recipient, you receive the benefit in one of two ways:
- STAR credit program (open to any eligible homeowner whose income is $500,000 or less) – homeowners receive a check in the mail from the Tax Department to apply to school taxes.
- STAR exemption program (now closed to new applicants) – homeowners receive a direct reduction on their school tax bill in the form of a property tax exemption.
It is important to note these new changes to STAR beginning this year:
- The value of the STAR credit savings may increase by as much as 2% each year, but the value of the STAR exemption savings will not increase.
- The income limit for the Basic STAR exemption is now $250,000.If your income is more than $250,000, you must switch to the STAR credit to continue receiving a STAR benefit. If your income is $250,000 or less, you have the option to switch. To switch to the STAR credit, you must notify your assessor.
There are two types of STAR:
- Basic STAR is available for owner occupied, primary residences with an income limit of $500,000 for the Basic STAR credit and $250,000 for the Basic STAR exemption.
- Enhanced STAR is available for the primary residence of any resident age 65 and older, with a household income below a specific limit that is adjusted annually based on the rate of inflation – $86,300 for 2019-20.
How do I know if I need to register?
If you’ve recently bought your home or you’ve never applied for the STAR benefit on your current home, you will need to register. You only need to register for the STAR credit once; you’ll continue to receive the annual benefit as long as you’re eligible.
If you’ve already registered for the STAR credit, there is no need to register again unless there’s been a change in ownership. The Department of Taxation and Finance will review your information each year and automatically send you a STAR credit check if you’re eligible. For more information, visit www.tax.ny.gov/pit/property/star.
Note: The STAR program is not administered by the school district. The amount of your STAR exemption is determined by the Office of Real Property Services (ORPS) in August. Contact your town assessor’s office or visit www.tax.ny.gov for information.