STAR is New York State's School Tax Relief Program that includes a school property tax rebate program and a partial property tax exemption from school taxes. All New York State homeowners who live in their home - whether it's a condominium, cooperative apartment, manufactured home, farm dwelling, apartment building or mixed-use property - are eligible for the STAR exemption on their primary residence.

The Basic STAR exemption is available for owner-occupied, primary residences regardless of the owners' ages or incomes. Basic STAR works by exempting the first $30,000 of the full value of a home from school taxes.

The Enhanced STAR exemption is available for the primary residences of senior citizens (age 65 and older) with yearly household incomes not exceeding the statewide standard. For qualifying senior citizens, the Enhanced STAR program works by exempting the first $60,100 of the full value of their home from school property taxes (2010-2011 school year). For property owned by a husband and wife, or by siblings, only one of them must be at least 65 years of age as of December 31 o qualify for the Enhanced exemption. Their combined annual income, however, must not exceed the STAR income standard.

Property owners who are granted the Basic STAR exemption generally will not need to reapply in subsequent years because the Basic STAR exemption is granted regardless of income. However, Basic STAR recipients will need to notify their assessor if their primary residence changes.

Senior citizens applying for the Enhanced STAR exemption must demonstrate that the combined income of all of the owners of the property, and of any owner's spouse who resides on the premises, is no greater than the income standard for the applicable income tax year.

STAR applications and instructions are available from your assessor's office or online at

STAR applications must either be received in the assessor's office or be postmarked by Taxable Status Date. While Taxable Status Date is March 1 in most municipalities, it varies for some cities and in some counties. When Taxable Status Date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday, the deadline for filing exemption applications is extended until the next business day.

Suzanne Dingley

Suzanne Dingley

Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
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