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The New York State School Tax Relief Program, better known as “STAR”, is a partial exemption from school property taxes on owner occupied primary residences. Primary residency is typically defined as the property lived in 51% of the time. Documentary proof may be requested as part of the application, such as car insurance and registration or voter registration card to name a few.

There are two categories of STAR exemptions for which a homeowner could apply. The Basic Star Exemption is for all homeowners regardless of age or income. The second category is known as the Enhanced Star Exemption, which is available to senior citizen homeowners who are 65 years or older, and whose annual income does not exceed $73,000.

While the STAR exemption varies for each homeowner, it can typically reduce school taxes by $1,000. This is a huge yearly savings.

To apply for the STAR exemption, applications Nassau residents can obtain an application online or pick up an application from either the Nassau County or Suffolk Town Department of Assessment offices. In Suffolk the application can be obtained from your zoned town hall or the website for your zoned town hall as applications vary in townships. At the time of initial application, in addition to establishing primary residency, a homeowner will need to provide proof of age and income.

For more information in Nassau County, you can contact the Nassau County Assessor’s Office at 240 Old Country Road, Mineola, NY 11501; or via telephone at (516) 571-1500. For more information in Suffolk County, you must contact your local Town Assessor, which may have different deadlines and requirements.

Homeowners should also be aware that STAR applications are homeowner friendly and very easy to understand. There is no need to hire a company to file on your behalf. Very often there are very high fees associated with the use of these companies, which is an unnecessary cost.

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