If you own property in New York State and aren’t a “one-percent-er,” you need to spend five painless minutes online by Dec 31 to keep your school tax exemption. But don’t worry — it’s easy to do and you are only one click away from getting started on keeping your STAR Tax exemption.
STAR is the New York State School Tax Reduction. In the past, you only needed to register once and you were good to go forever. However, a new law requires STAR recipients to re-register before December 31, 2013. STAR exemptions are limited to owner-occupied, primary residences where the resident owners’ and their spouses income is less than $500,000. The rebate exempts the first $30,000 of the full value of a home from local school taxes. The new law — which will help NYS build an online database of STAR exemption recipients — is designed to cut down on the fraud that occurs when people apply for STAR exemptions for vacation homes and rental properties.
Seniors Are Super STARs
Enhanced STAR provides an increased benefit for the primary residences of senior citizens (age 65 and older) with qualifying incomes.
This program exempts the first $63,300 of the full value of a home from school taxes as of 2013-14 school tax bills (up from $62,200 in 2012-13).
There are two easy ways to re-apply for your STAR exemption. Register online at tax.ny.gov or call (518) 457-2036 M-F 8:30a-8p and Sat from 9a-1p. You may have already received a postcard telling you were to go and what to do. The postcard contains a unique seven digit STAR code based on where you live — if you don’t have that info, you can look it up online before renewing your exemption. There’s even a demonstration video of how the online site works if you study up before you get started. You can also re-apply by snail mail if you wish.
Before you go online or call (518) 457-2036, you will want to have your social security number handy. Be prepared to confirm that home this is your primary residence (Does this individual own property in another state that is receiving a residency based property tax benefit?). If you are married, you will also be asked to enter your spouse’s Tax ID number and whether or not they are also an owner of this property (Does this individual own property in another state that is receiving a residency based property tax benefit?).