Tax Relief – STAR and other exemptions

  • Q: How could STAR reduce my school taxes?

    A: Homeowners can reduce their school property taxes through the school tax relief program (STAR), which is paid for through state taxes. Basic STAR is available only on a homeowner’s primary residence and for households with an income of less than $500,000. Enhanced STAR assists homeowners age 65 and older with household incomes below a limit of $86,000 in 2018.

    Some homeowners now receive a rebate check under the STAR Credit Program, but those who previously received a STAR exemption on their current home will continue to receive STAR as an exemption instead of a rebate check.

    Contact the town assessor at (518) 761-8200 to apply for STAR or visit the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance website to learn more.

    Q: Do I have to reapply for a STAR exemption every year?

    A: No, not unless there has been a change in ownership. Once a homeowner is registered, it is not necessary to reapply for STAR every year.

    Q: Is it possible to receive a STAR refund instead of a STAR exemption?

    A: The 2016-17 state budget included a provision to transition the STAR exemption into a refundable personal income tax credit. Anyone who purchased and paid school taxes on a home for the first time in 2016-17 or later will receive their STAR savings as a rebate check instead of as an exemption. 

    Q: Are taxpayers’ STAR savings factored into the budget?

    A: No. The STAR program is tax relief for homeowners paid for by New York state through state taxes. It is not a source of additional funding for schools or a consideration in developing the annual school budget.

    Q: Are there other tax relief options besides STAR?

    A: There is also a senior citizen exemption that is based on income.

    Q: Will there be a STAR tax rebate in 2018-19?

    A: Yes. Under the Property Tax Relief Credit, New York homeowners whose primary residence is outside of New York City may be eligible to receive a rebate check from the state. Between 2017 and 2019, the rebate amounts will be tied to a percentage of homeowners’ STAR tax savings and be available only to households with incomes under $275,000.