New York State Updates the STAR Program For 2019
New York State Updates the STAR Program for 2019*
Beginning this year, the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance released two updates to the STAR (School Tax Relief) program. The STAR program offers relief on property taxes to eligible New York State property owners. Property owners can receive STAR benefits in two different ways:
- as a reduction on their school tax bill (the STAR exemption)
- as a check from New York State (the STAR credit)
What’s new for 2019 are the income limits for the Basic STAR exemptions.
STAR exemption recipients with incomes between $250,000 and $500,000
Beginning this year, individuals with incomes between $250,000 and $500,000 will no longer be eligible for the STAR exemption. However, you may be eligible for the STAR credit.
The Basic STAR exemption income limit is now $250,000. However, the income limit for the STAR credit continues to be $500,000.
The NYS Department of Taxation and Finance will automatically register affected property owners for the STAR credit using the information previously provided when registering for the STAR exemption or a STAR-related benefit.
Beginning in early June, the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance will be sending letters to these property owners. Most will not need to take any action to switch to the STAR credit; however, some property owners will receive letters asking them to provide additional information. The NYS Department of Taxation and Finance has provided samples of the letters they are sending out:
STAR exemption recipients with incomes of $250,000 or less
Property owners who are receiving the STAR exemption and whose income is $250,000 or less can choose to register for the STAR credit. Due to the 2019 tax law changes, you now may receive a greater benefit. The STAR exemption benefit can no longer increase, but the STAR credit benefit can continue to grow by up to 2% annually.
To simplify the process for switching to the STAR credit for those with an income of less than $250,000, the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance has added new options to the STAR credit registration online application. Property owners are now guided to choose from three options: Update Registration, Make the Switch, and Register for STAR on the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance website.
If the property owner selects Make the Switch, the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance will notify the tax assessor directly. The property owner will no longer need to contact their assessor or submit additional forms to withdraw their exemption.
Should you have questions, please call a member of the Lumsden McCormick tax team or the NYS Department of Taxation STAR information line: 518-457-2036.
*Source: excerpts of this news item are from a NYS Department of Taxation and Finance communication dated June 6, 2019.