STAR is the New York State School Tax Relief Program that provides an exemption or a credit from school property taxes for owner-occupied primary residences of one, two and three family homes, farm homes, condominiums, cooperative apartments or multiple use properties of which a portion is used by the owner as a primary residence.
New Application Procedure
As per legislation signed into law by Governor Cuomo on April 13, 2016, STAR benefits for first time applicants will be issued as a credit in the form of a check directly from New York State, instead of a school property tax exemption. New applicants for the Basic STAR or Enhanced STAR must register with New York State Department of Taxation and Finance instead of applying at the Nassau County Department of Assessment. The STAR Tax Exemption Program is closed to new applicants. The amount of the STAR benefit is the same, whether it is an exemption or a credit. The NYS Tax Department will determine if you are eligible for the Basic or Enhanced Star benefit amount. Property owners without access to a computer can register by phone weekdays from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM (518-457-2036). New York State has indicated that applicants who register by July 1st should receive their STAR checks in October.
Eligibility criteria for the STAR Personal Income Tax Credit Program are the same as the STAR Exemption Program. You cannot recieve both the credit and the exemption.
Basic STAR has been extended to all primary residence homeowners, regardless of age. The total annual household income of the owners and their spouses who primarily reside at the property must not exceed $500,000. (Income is defined as the amount reported as Federal “Adjusted Gross Income” (AGI) less the “taxable amount” of IRA distributions.) Homeowners who own more than one residential property may only receive the STAR benefit on their primary residence.
Eligible senior citizens may receive reduced school taxes under Enhanced STAR. All owners must be at least 65 years of age (in the year that the exemption takes effect). If owners are spouses or siblings, only one resident owner must be at least 65. Their household income limit must not exceed $86,000. Income eligibility in 2017 is based on income information from the 2015 tax year. Income is defined as the amount reported as Federal "Adjusted Gross Income" (AGI) less any "taxable amount" of IRA distributions. Income limits are adjusted annually for cost-of-living.
Current STAR Exemption Recipients
As long as current Basic and Enhanced STAR Exemption recipients continue to own their current home, they will continue to keep their exemption. Current recipients of the Enhanced STAR who are not enrolled in the Income Verification Program must continue to file renewal applications each year with the Department of Asessment. Residents should contact the Department of Assessment before filing a new deed on the property, as the exemption may be jeopardized.
Special Eligibility Rules
Special eligibility rules apply for surviving spouses, nursing home residents, trusts and life estates. See the NYS Department of Taxation website for details.