The School Tax Relief (STAR) Program FAQ

STAR Program FAQ

The School Tax Relief (STAR) Program FAQ

What does it mean to be a STAR recipient? 

The School Tax Relief (STAR) program provides eligible homeowners in New York State with relief on their property taxes. If you are 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) provides you with a check in the mail from the New York State Tax Department to apply to your school taxes.  

• The STAR exemption program (now closed to new applicants) allows you to receive a direct reduction on your school tax bill in the form of a property tax exemption. 

Whether you receive the STAR exemption or the STAR credit, there are two parts to the STAR program: BASIC STAR and ENHANCED STAR. 

BASIC STAR

Who is eligible for BASIC STAR? 

BASIC STAR is available to all New Yorkers with an income of $500,000 or less, who own and live in their one-, two or three-family home. 

New Yorkers are eligible for this exemption on their primary residence (not on any other properties), regardless of age. The STAR exemption applies only to school district taxes. It does not apply to other property taxes such as county, town or city.

How do I apply for BASIC STAR? 

To apply for the BASIC STAR Exemption, you must file form RP-425-B with your local assessor. You will also receive a mailing from the State Tax Department prompting you to register with the state to obtain Basic STAR savings in subsequent years. Application form RP-425-B (Basic STAR Exemption), is available on the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance website: https://www.tax.ny.gov/forms/orpts/star.htm.

If you have recently bought your home or have never applied for the STAR benefit on your current home, you only need to register for the STAR credit with the New York State Tax Department once to receive a STAR credit check, and you will continue to receive the annual benefit as long as you are eligible. You can register 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at www.tax.ny.gov/star, or by phone weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (518-457-2036).

What is the deadline for applying?

The STAR application deadline in Nassau County is January 2. 

How does the new law impact the BASIC STAR exemption? 

Due to recent changes in the law,  beginning this year, the income limit for the Basic STAR exemption is now $250,000.

What if my income is $250,000 or less?

If you currently receive the STAR exemption, you can choose to register for the STAR credit to receive a check instead, which may entitle you to receive a greater benefit. The NYS Department of Taxation and Finance is sending letters to homeowners who are impacted by this change and registering them for the STAR credit. 

What if my income is greater than $250,000 and less than or equal to $500,000?

Most homeowners will not need to take additional action. The letter you receive (Form RP-425-RDS) confirms that, as long as you are eligible, the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance will issue your STAR credit check before your 2019-2020 school taxes are due.

 

Enhanced STAR

ENHANCED STAR is available to senior citizens age 65 or older and typically saves seniors even more on their school property taxes than BASIC STAR. For jointly owned property, only one spouse or sibling must be at least 65 by December 31 of the year when the benefit will begin.

New for 2019-- if you are applying or reapplying for the Enhanced STAR exemption, you must enroll in the Income Verification Program (IVP). You only need to enroll once, and you’ll receive the exemption each year, as long as you’re eligible. You will not need to reapply for the exemption or provide copies of your tax returns to your local assessor.

Note: Your income will not be disclosed to your assessor. The only information that will be disclosed is whether your income satisfies the income eligibility requirement.
 

What are the income requirements for Enhanced STAR? 

In 2019: Income must be $86,300 or less. 

In 2020: Income must be $88,050 or less.

The income limit applies to the combined incomes of all owners (residents and nonresidents), and any owner’s spouse who resides at the property.

How do I Enroll for the Enhanced STAR exemption?

To apply or reapply for the Enhanced STAR exemption, you must submit the following to your assessor: 

• Form RP-425-IVP, Supplement to Forms RP-425-E and RP-425- Rnw (include the Social Security numbers of all owners of the property and any of their spouses who reside at the property); and either 

• For Basic STAR recipients upgrading to Enhanced STAR: Form RP-425-E,  Application for Enhanced STAR Exemption for the 2019-2020 School Year, or 

• For renewal applicants: Form RP425-Rnw, Renewal Application for Enhanced STAR Exemption for the 2019-2020 School Year. 

You must also provide proof of income as described on your forms.

What if I am already in the Income Verification Program (IVP)? 

You do not need to take any action to continue receiving the Enhanced STAR exemption. The Tax Department will contact you if it needs additional information. If you are also receiving the senior citizen’s exemption, you will still need to annually reapply for that benefit with your assessor.

When is the deadline for applying for the Enhanced STAR Exemption? 

The application deadline in Nassau County is January 2.

What if I move? 

Please advise your assessor if the property is no longer your primary residence or if you move.

If I qualify for the senior citizens exemption, will I be automatically granted the Enhanced STAR exemption? 

In the past, senior citizens who qualified for the senior citizens exemption were automatically granted the Enhanced STAR exemption. Due to changes in New York State law, beginning with applications for 2019, you must apply separately for the senior citizens exemption and the Enhanced STAR exemption. To apply or reapply for the senior citizens exemption, file the applicable form with your assessor:

1. For first-time applicants: Form RP-467, Application for Partial Tax Exemption for Real Property of Senior Citizens, or 

2. For renewal applicants: Form RP-467-Rnw, Renewal Application for Partial Tax Exemption for Real Property of Senior Citizens. See Form RP-467-I, Instructions for Form RP-467 Application for Partial Tax Exemption for Real Property of Senior Citizens, for the application deadline and additional information.

These forms and instructions are accessible here on the NYSDTF Website. 

Additional Resources and Relevant Links: