MAJOR CHANGES TO NEW YORK’S STAR PROGRAM FOR RECENT HOMEBUYERS

With the passing of the 2016-17 State budget, came major changes to how New York State homeowners will obtain their savings under New York’s STAR program.  In previous years, homeowners who qualified for the STAR Exemption benefited from upfront savings by way of a reduced school tax bill.  Now, certain homeowners will receive a Credit by way of a rebate check each fall after payment of their full school tax bill.  The amount of one’s school tax relief will remain the same; it will simply be realized in a different way.

Not all current homeowners will be affected by the change to the STAR program.  Only those homebuyers considered to be ‘new’ homebuyers will notice the change. 

The rules for determining ‘new’ are as follows:

  1. If you purchased your current home prior to May 1, 2014, you will continue to benefit from the STAR Exemption and paying the reduced school tax; no action need be taken.
  1. If you purchased your current home between May 1, 2014 and August 1, 2015, and the purchase was after that year’s STAR application deadline (March 1, 2014 unless listed here: https://www.tax.ny.gov/pit/property/star/2015-star-deadlines.htm), you will be transitioned over to the STAR Credit and receive a rebate check beginning Fall 2016, after payment of your full school tax.  You must take action and register with New York State to continue receiving STAR relief, even if you have previously applied for and received the STAR Exemption.
  1. If you purchased your current home after August 1, 2015,you will be transitioned over to the STAR Credit and receive a rebate check beginning Fall 2016, after payment of your full school tax.  You must take action and register with New York State to continue receiving STAR relief, even if you have previously applied for and received the STAR Exemption.

As you can see, a ‘new’ homebuyer need not necessarily be a recent homebuyer; those who purchased their current home up to two (2) years ago will be transitioned over to the STAR Credit program.

For those who qualify as a ‘new’ homebuyer, registration for the STAR credit takes only a few minutes and can be completed at the following link: https://www.tax.ny.gov/pit/property/star/register-for-star-credit.htm.  If you wish to receive your rebate check in September, you must register before July 1, 2016; those registrations received after July 1, 2016 will receive a rebate check ‘at a later date’, per New York State.

Article written by Joel N. Patch, Esq. For more information, contact Mr. Patch at (607) 231-6987 or via email at jpatch@hhk.com.

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