Change to STAR Property Tax Program

By Joseph A. Bollhofer, Esq. 

           Most people receive a property tax exemption on their principal residence under New York’s School Property Tax Relief Program (STAR).  There are changes in the program for persons who purchased their primary residence after August 1, 2015, and for those who are not currently registered in the program.  The change also applies for those in Nassau County who did not apply by January 2, 2015 and in Suffolk County for those who did not apply by March 1, 2015.

           Eligible applicants who were not registered before the deadline will receive a STAR personal income tax credit rather than the STAR property tax exemption.  They must register for STAR with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance instead of applying through their local property tax assessor.

           Under the new program, homeowners will receive a STAR check instead of an exemption on their school property tax bill.  Property owners who bought their home and registered before the deadline will continue to receive the STAR property exemption on their bill and do not need to take any action. 

          The above rules also apply to applicants for the Enhanced STAR program. 

          Homeowners may register for STAR on the Tax Department’s website at Telephone registration is also available at (518)457-2036 from 8:30AM to 4:30PM.

      Copyright 2016 Joseph A. Bollhofer, Esq.   

Editor’s Note: Joseph A. Bollhofer, Esq., is an attorney who practices law in the areas of elder law, Medicaid, estate and business planning and administration, and real estate. He is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), and of the Elder Law, Real Property, and Surrogate’s Court Committees of the Suffolk County Bar Association and of the Elder Law and Real Property Law Sections of the New York State Bar Association. He has been serving area residents since 1985 and is admitted to practice law in New York and New Jersey. His office is located at 291 Lake Ave., St. James, NY. (584-0100). For reprints of this article and others concerning Medicaid, Elder Law, Estate and Business Planning and Real Estate, send a request to or visit