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New York STAR tax relief program: What do homeowners need to know?

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  • Staff Report 

New Yorkers have begun receiving their STAR benefit checks and exemptions for school property taxes, a relief program expected to run through the end of the year.

The STAR program is designed to offer qualified homeowners a reduction in school property taxes. Depending on an individual’s residential area, these tax benefits can appear on bills from late August to December.

In the Finger Lakes region, distributions began as early as mid-July. For specific delivery dates, homeowners can refer to the state’s online tool.

The STAR initiative offers two forms of tax relief: a direct bill deduction known as the STAR exemption, or a mailed “credit” check.

New state regulations mandate that checks be provided to recent homeowners, while those owning homes since 2015 are eligible for direct exemptions. Notably, the credit value can increase annually by up to 2%, a feature the exemption doesn’t offer.

Eligibility requirements for the Basic STAR credit stipulate an income of $500,000 or less, and for the exemption, $250,000 or less. Seniors earning $93,200 or under in the 2023-2024 academic year can avail the Enhanced STAR. As of 2022, approximately 2.26 million New Yorkers availed of the Basic STAR, and 670,000 received the Enhanced STAR, as reported by the state’s Department of Taxation and Finance. To enroll or modify benefit reception methods, homeowners are directed to