STAR School Tax Relief

STAR

For new information regarding the STAR program click here.

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.Two types of STAR exemptions:

Basic STAR

  • 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 $65,300 of the full value of a home from school taxes as of 2015-16 school tax bills (up from $64,200 in 2014-15)

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).

Also see: School Property Tax Report Cards hosted by the New York State Education Department.

Basic STAR

  1. Submit Form RP-425 Application for School Tax Relief (STAR) Exemption to your local assessor. By signing the form, you are attesting that your income for tax year 2013 was below $500,000.  (New York City and Nassau County residents please refer to the section below for the application and instructions)

Enhanced STAR

  1. Submit Form RP-425 Application for School Tax Relief (STAR) Exemption to your assessor.
  2. Demonstrate that you meet the income requirement annually in one of two ways:
    • Apply annually with your assessor – Complete your STAR application and send it to your assessor with a copy of your income tax return(s) for the appropriate income tax year; or
    • Authorize our department to verify your income eligibility – Submit Form RP-425-IVP School Tax Relief (STAR) Exemption: Optional Income Verification Program to provide your assessor with your social security number(s) and authorize us to verify your income eligibility. If you choose this option, generally you will only have to submit Form RP-425, Form RP-425-IVP, and a copy of your tax return(s) to the assessor in the first year.

If you mail your application to the assessor, you may:

  • send it registered mail/return receipt requested
  • include a note requesting a receipt and a stamped, self-addressed envelope.

If you hand-deliver it, you also may request a receipt. In either case, retain a copy of your application for your records.

We also recommend that you check the tentative assessment roll when it is made public to ensure that you are receiving the exemptions that you applied for. (In most communities, the tentative roll is made public in early May, but the dates can vary. Please confirm the date with your assessor.)

STAR application deadline

  • Your STAR application must be postmarked or received by your assessor’s office by Taxable Status Date. (In most communities, Taxable Status Date is March 1, but visit Municipal Profiles to find the assessment calendar for your municipality.)
  • Confirm approval of your STAR application
    Review the tentative assessment roll when your assessor makes it available to the public. (In most communities, assessors make tentative assessment rolls public on May 1. Visit Municipal Profiles to find the assessment calendar for your municipality.)
  • Assessors must notify applicants if they deny their STAR application.

 

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