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Department of Taxation and Finance

Why switch to the STAR credit from the STAR exemption

If you currently receive your STAR benefit as a reduction on your school tax bill (the STAR exemption), you may receive a greater benefit if you switch to the STAR credit to receive a check instead.

Beginning in 2019, the value of the STAR credit savings may increase by as much as 2% each year, but the value of the STAR exemption savings cannot increase. The STAR exemption savings can never be higher than the STAR credit savings.

The STAR credit benefit can continue to grow

By switching to the STAR credit, your benefit could grow by as much as 2% each year, and it can never be lower than the STAR exemption benefit.

For example, if your STAR exemption benefit was $800 on your 2018-2019 school tax bill, that’s the most you can receive in any future years, unless you switch to the STAR credit.

If you switch to the STAR credit, your benefit can grow by as much as 2% each year.

  • In the first year, that could mean up to $816—an extra $16 in savings.
  • Five years later, the STAR credit benefit could reach as high as $900 due to the power of compounding,

STAR benefits can change each year

Whether you’re receiving the STAR credit or exemption, the benefit can change each year due to a variety of factors, including school tax rates, changes in property values in your community, and local assessment practices. 

As a result, the STAR credit benefit may not always increase, and when it does increase, it may do so by 2% or less.

However, the STAR exemption benefit can never increase, even when the STAR credit benefit does increase.  The STAR exemption benefit will never be higher than the STAR credit benefit.

How much will I save?

To determine how much you could save by switching to the STAR credit:

  1. Find the amount of your STAR savings on your 2019-2020 school tax bill. (View sample property tax bills.)
  2. Multiply your 2019-2020 STAR savings by 1.02 to see how high your STAR credit benefit can be this year if you switch to the credit.

How to switch?

To get started see Switching to the STAR credit from the STAR exemption.

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