Area residents who own their own homes may reduce their school property taxes through the New York State School Tax Relief (STAR) Program. New legislation requires all homeowners receiving a Basic STAR exemption to register with the New York State Tax Department in order to receive the exemption in 2014 and subsequent years.
The STAR Program is a tax relief for homeowners, paid for through state taxes. It is not a new source of funding for schools and does not reduce or increase actual school tax rates. To receive the tax relief, homeowners must apply through a local assessor's office. In the past, once homeowners applied for and received the Basic STAR exemption, they did not need to reapply unless they purchased and moved to a new primary residence.
New in 2013, taxpayers currently receiving the Basic STAR exemption must register with the state by Dec. 31, 2013, in order to receive the exemption in 2014 and subsequent years. The state will mail letters explaining the registration process to homeowners in Saratoga County the week of Sept. 3-6, 2013. View the mailing schedule (PDF). Learn more about the registration process
If you are already registered for a Basic STAR exemption, though, you do not have to re-register to receive your 2013 exemption. The school tax bill you receive this fall will show the total amount you are exempt from paying under STAR. The actual amount of the full value exemption is dependent on the individual city/town where you reside.
Senior citizens receiving the Enhanced STAR exemption are not affected by the new registration requirement. They must continue to apply annually or participate in the Income Verification Program, though.
Anyone who has questions about STAR should call their town assessor, go online to http://www.tax.ny.gov/pit/property/star13/default.htm or call (518) 457-2036.