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Department of Taxation and Finance

STAR program

Important information for STAR exemption recipients

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; you'll receive a check instead.

Note: The income limit for the Basic STAR exemption is now $250,000. If your income is more than $250,000, you must switch to the credit to continue receiving a STAR benefit.

See Changes for exemption recipients, below, for important information.

The School Tax Relief (STAR) program provides eligible homeowners in New York State with relief on their property taxes.

If you're a STAR recipient, you receive the benefit in one of two ways:

  • the STAR credit program (open to any eligible homeowner whose income is $500,000 or less)—you receive a check in the mail from the Tax Department to apply to your school taxes 
     
  • the STAR exemption program (now closed to new applicants)—you receive a direct reduction on your school tax bill in the form of a property tax exemption

Enhanced STAR, which provides increased savings, is available to qualifying senior citizens ages 65 and older in both the credit and exemption programs; see STAR eligibility.

What's new

Due to recent changes in the law, beginning this year:

  • the value of the STAR credit may increase by as much as 2% each year, but the STAR exemption cannot increase; and
  • the income limit for the Basic STAR exemption is now $250,000.

Who must switch

If your income is more than $250,000, you must switch to the STAR credit to continue receiving your benefit.

If your income is $250,000 or less, you have the option to switch.

How to switch to the STAR credit

  1. Notify your assessor that you wish to withdraw your STAR exemption.
  2. Register for the STAR credit.

(Has your ownership or age status changed? See STAR exemption program.)

Whether you receive the STAR exemption or the credit, there are two types of STAR benefits:

Basic STAR

  • available for owner-occupied, primary residences
  • the income limit for the Basic STAR credit is $500,000 (the income limit for the Basic STAR exemption is $250,000)
  • based on the first $30,000 of the full value of a home

Enhanced STAR

  • provides an increased benefit for the primary residences of senior citizens (age 65 and older)
  • the income limit for the Enhanced Star benefit is $86,300 or less for the 2019-2020 school year
  • based on the first $68,700 of the full value of a home for the 2019-2020 school year
  • Enhanced STAR recipients are now required to enroll in the Income Verification Program (IVP). See Enhanced STAR Income Verification Program for more information.

Note: Senior citizens receiving Enhanced STAR may also be eligible for the senior citizens exemption. See Senior citizens exemption to learn more.

Your eligibility for Basic STAR depends on:

  • ownership,
  • residency, and
  • income.

Your eligibility for Enhanced STAR depends on:

  • ownership,
  • residency,
  • income, and
  • age.

See STAR eligibility to review the income criteria, residency requirements, and more.

If you’ve recently bought your home or you’ve never applied for the STAR benefit on your current home, you may be able to save hundreds of dollars each year. You only need to register for the STAR credit once, and you’ll continue to receive the annual benefit as long as you’re eligible.

Switching from the exemption to the credit? Register below! You may receive a greater benefit.

Register for STAR

Want to know more about STAR? See our Questions and answers for homeowners.

Resources

For more property owner information and resources, see Property owners home.

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