If you own and live in your primary residence in New York State and you and your spouse have an annual income lower than $500,000, you are eligible for a partial property tax exemption under the New York State School Tax Relief Program. This is known as Basic STAR, and is based on the first $65,500 of the full value of the home.
The STAR program gets even better for senior citizens age 65 or older. They are eligible for partial property tax exemptions if their combined annual income does not exceed $86,000. This is known as Enhanced STAR and is based on the first $65,500 of the full value of the home.
It is important to know that you, rather than the New York State government, are responsible for your initial enrollment in STAR— a program that can save you several thousand dollars a year on your property taxes.
During the current 2016-2017 fiscal year, a change has been introduced in the way in which new STAR participants will receive their STAR benefits. The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance is transitioning from a system of paying all STAR refunds through property tax credits to one where some homeowners will receive refunds by check or a personal income tax credit.
Anyone who purchased a home and is paying school taxes for the first time in 2016-17 will receive their STAR refund by check. Ongoing participants in STAR can now choose either an income tax credit or a check.
Owners of single-family homes and condominium units who have been receiving STAR benefits will continue to receive their STAR benefits as a credit on their property tax bills.
For cooperative housing corporations, NYS will send a refund to the corporation, which will then distribute the STAR benefits to the applicable tenant-stockholder.
For more information on the STAR program, please click here