A lot of items will make the list of “must-haves” when you begin searching for your new home. Two items that commonly rank high on this list are: a good school district and low taxes.
Unfortunately, those two items don’t always go hand in hand, but New York’s STAR program can help with this.
The NY STAR Program is the School Tax Assessment Relief program, and is a tax rebate program that is offered in New York State aimed at reducing school district property taxes on the primary residences of New York residents. The STAR program can help lower school taxes for qualifying homeowners by giving them a partial exemption on their home’s full value from school taxes.
Applicable homeowners will fall into two categories: Basic STAR and Enhanced STAR.
To be eligible for Basic STAR, you need to answer the following two questions:
If you answered yes to both of these questions then you are eligible for the Basic STAR discount. Basic STAR provides an exemption of $30,000 off the full value of the home. This reduced amount is then used to calculate school taxes.
To be eligible for Enhanced STAR, you will need to answer the three questions below:
If you answered yes to these three questions then you are eligible for the Enhanced STAR discount. Enhanced STAR is an exemption of $64,200 off the full value of the home.
Note that home buyers will still need to qualify for and purchase a home at the price negotiated during the sale, and any taxes that may be owed as part of closing costs will be calculated based on the fully assessed value of the home. However, home owners can easily apply for their STAR exemption after the purchase of their home.
Back in 2016, the STAR Program went through some changes that left qualifying homeowners in two categories: homeowners who receive a STAR refund check, and homeowners who receive a school property tax exemption.
Homeowners who purchased their residence in New York State on or after March 1, 2015 will receive a STAR refund check from New York State instead of receiving a school property tax exemption. This change took effect beginning with the 2016-2017 school year.
The benefit amount will remain the same, it will just be in the form of a check rather than in the form of a tax exemption.
Wondering when you’ll receive your annual STAR refund check? Find out when checks are mailed in your area here.
Homeowners who purchased their homes before March 1, 2015 will continue to receive the STAR Program benefit in the form of a school property tax exemption.
You can apply for the New York STAR program by completing the application form found on the New York State website. Register for the NY STAR Program here.
The STAR Resource Center is a great place to learn more about the STAR Program. Visit the STAR Resource Center on the NYS Website here. You can also contact your local assessor’s office for more information.
If you’re interested in purchasing a new home and taking advantage of the New York STAR Program, Maple Tree Funding can help! We specialize in getting New York homebuyers the financing they need to purchase the home they’ve always dreamed of owning. If you are hoping to become a New York homeowner, we can help you take the first step by getting you pre-qualified for a mortgage that fits your needs and budget.
Editor’s note: This content was originally published in April 2016, but has been updated as of March 2021.