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The STAR Program


Important new information about star


New in 2013, taxpayers currently receiving the Basic STAR exemption must re-register with the state by Dec. 31, 2013, in order to receive the exemption in 2014 and subsequent years. This, however, does not affect school tax bills that will be mailed this fall. The state will mail letters to current registrants explaining the new registration process or click here to learn how to do this now online.

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.

This year, however, you do need to re-registered to receive the STAR benefit for 2014 and beyond. 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.


STAR Program Overview

ALL New York State residents who own their own homes can significantly reduce their school property taxes through a School Tax Reduction (STAR) exemption, regardless of age or income. But the savings is not automatic.

You have to apply with your town assessor's office by March 1 to be eligible for the tax break – and seniors who apply for the enhanced exemption must reapply each year.

Colonie Assessor's Office – 783-2701

Guilderland Assessor's Office – 356-1980

Niskayuna Assessor's Office - 386-4550

Learn more the STAR program and download the necessary forms online

Download Q&A from the NYS Office of Real Property Services (pdf)

The STAR (School Tax Relief) program is a state program that the district has no control over. The New York State STAR program is intended to be solely a state tax relief program—NOT state aid for education.

Up until last year there were two parts to the STAR program – the Basic and Enhanced STAR exemptions and the middle class STAR rebate. During the 2009-10 fiscal year, the state Legislature voted to discontinued the rebate program – however, the exemption program is still in place.

It is important for all taxpayers in New York State to understand how the STAR program works, because by taking advantage of it property owners can save hundreds of dollars a year on their school taxes.

All South Colonie taxpayers are eligible to receive a tax exemption through the state’s Basic STAR exemption, which is available to all property owners, or the Enhanced STAR exemption, which is for seniors. The STAR exemption program was enacted by the state Legislature in 1997.

Through this program, a certain amount of the true value of a person’s home or property is exempt.

In 2007, the state Legislature created the “Middle Class STAR” program to provide a further benefit to homeowners with incomes below $250,000. For the first two years of the program, this benefit was provided in the form of a rebate check and was in addition to the Basic and Enhanced STAR program. In 2009-10, because of the state of the economy, the state Legislature decided it could no longer afford this rebate program and so it was eliminated.

Anyone who has questions about STAR should call their town assessor or go online by clicking here.