What is a STAR Exception, Who is Eligible, What Types Exist in NY State?
What is STAR Exception?
Star is a discount on property taxes of a primary residence, available for New York State residents.
What properties are eligible?
Eligible types of property
• houses, condominiums, cooperative apartments, manufactured homes, and farm houses
• mixed-use properties, including apartment buildings (but only the owner-occupied portion)
What homeowners are eligible?
What is considered Primary Residence?
Determining your primary residence
Your local assessor considers many factors to determine whether a property is your primary residence, like voting, vehicle registrations, and length of time spent each year on the property. They may ask you to provide proof of residency:
• with your STAR application
• after granting the exemption, to verify that it remains your primary residence
Eligibility in 2014 is based on income information from the 2012 tax year. Income means federal "adjusted gross income" minus the "taxable amount" of total distributions from individual retirement accounts or individual retirement annuities (IRA's).
Special eligibility rules for seniors, residents of cooperative apartments, manufactured home parks nursing homes, trusts and life estates
What Types of Star Exemptions exist?
Two types of STAR exemptions:
• 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
Provides an increased benefit for the primary residences of senior citizens (age 65 and older) with qualifying incomes exempts the first $63,300 of the full value of a home from school taxes as of 2013-14 school tax bills (up from $62,200 in 2012-13)
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.
There are three different property tax exemptions available to veterans who have served in the U. S. Armed Forces, including veterans who have served in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.
Obtaining a veterans' exemption is not automatic - if you're an eligible veteran, you must submit the initial exemption application form to your assessor. The deadline in most communities is March 1 - please confirm the date with your assessor.
Whichever exemption a veteran chooses, it will apply only to county, city, town, and village taxes; it does not apply to school district and special district taxes.
You can only receive one of the exemptions listed below.
Alternative Veterans' Exemption
Available only on residential property of a veteran who has served during a designated time of war, or who has received an expeditionary medal
Currently available in over 95 percent of the county, city, town, and village taxing jurisdictions across the state. The remainder of these jurisdictions may choose to offer this exemption in the future
Veteran applicants should check with the assessor or clerk in the municipalities in which they respectively reside to see whether the alternative veterans'™ exemption is offere Authorized by Real Property Tax Law, Section 458-a
Cold War Veterans' Exemption
Available only on residential property of a veteran who served during the Cold War period
- Counties, cities, towns, and villages have the option to offer this exemption to qualified veterans
- Check with your assessor or clerk to see whether the Cold war Veterans' exemption is offered
- Authorized by Real Property Tax Law, Section 458-b
What you have to do if you currently have a Star Exception?
For homeowners that have star
More than 2.6 million New York property taxpayers who receive the School Tax Relief exemption will soon have to reapply for the benefits as part of a massive state undertaking to root out fraud in the $1.9 billion system.
In the coming weeks, homeowners will receive a letter instructing them to reapply for the STAR program online or by phone by Dec. 31. People will need to verify their salaries, Social Security numbers and primary residence.
The initiative, approved as part of the state budget last March, will seek to stop some property owners from claiming the tax breaks on multiple homes. An audit in March found widespread abuse of the STAR program, and the state is hoping to save at least $1 million a year from the new system.