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STAR is a New York State tax relief program that lowers school taxes for owner-occupied primary residences. There are two levels of STAR benefits - Basic STAR and Enhanced STAR.
To be eligible for the STAR reduction, you must own a property that you use as your primary residence. For Basic STAR, this is the only requirement. Basic STAR has no income or age limits. To be eligible for Enhanced STAR, you must own a property that you use as your primary residence and be 65 or older. In addition, the total annual income of all the owners of the property must be $74,700 or less.
Your primary residence is typically the home that you occupy for most of the year and is generally the place where you vote and where your car is registered. If you own more than one property, only your primary residence can receive a STAR tax reduction. STAR applicants may be asked to prove "primary residency" and, in the future, certify that the property is still the primary place where they reside.
No. Only one home can be your primary residence.
No. All the owners must complete and sign the STAR application, but only one owner has to use the property as his or her primary residence to qualify for benefits.
Applicants for Enhanced STAR must submit proof of age, e.g., birth certificate, baptismal record, passport, or other official document showing your birth date. Applicants must also provide proof of the total adjusted gross income of all owners by submitting federal or New York State tax return(s), if filed. If one of the owners did not file a tax return, that owner should complete a Department of Finance Income Statement in place of submitting a tax return.
You can print a Basic or Enhanced STAR application at this link Basic Star Exemption RP-425. Additional forms and documents are linked below.
Basic and Enhanced STAR application must be filed by March 1st. Applications that are received by that date and approved will result in lower property taxes beginning July 1st of that same year, which is the start of the Town's new tax year. Applications received after March 1st will be processed for benefits that begin the following year. Owners of co-ops also receive the tax reduction beginning on July 1st. However, management offices receive a report from Finance each November breaking down the total exemptions by apartment/unit. For this reason, co-op management cannot refund the tax reduction to individual co-op owners until November, at the earliest. It is left to the discretion of the management company how to pass along the tax savings to individual shareholders.
Basic STAR: No. Once you are approved for STAR, you do not have to reapply unless you move to a new primary residence. However, if you have Basic STAR and are turning 65, you have to complete a separate application for Enhanced STAR.
Enhanced STAR: Yes. Once you are approved for Enhanced STAR, you do need to reapply. However, you can complete an Annual Income Statement or elect to have New York State verify income from your State tax return. Keep a copy of your application for your records, and send copies of your supporting documents, not originals.