What is a STAR Exemption? I never heard of one when I lived in Brooklyn. I moved to Kingston and didn't hear of it for six years. Then, last year, a dear friend who is also a realtor mentioned it to me and my husband.
From the New York state web site:
"The Basic STAR exemption is available for owner-occupied, primary residences regardless of the owners' ages or incomes. Basic STAR works by exempting the first $30,000 of the full value of a home from school taxes."
You have to get the form from the web site, where you can download a PDF, or go to the assessor's office for your municipality. Both last year and this, when I looked at the forms with my husband, we got confused and thought we made too much money for the Basic Star exemption. We didn't. No one does.
But the form asks for your age and your income. This is only to determine your eligibility for the second kind of STAR Exemption, called "Enhanced." If you live in your home and it is your primary residence, you qualify for the basic exemption.
We almost missed yesterday's deadline of March 2. Luckily, our above-mentioned friend walked us through downloading the forms, found out that the deadline was a postmark deadline, so that as the day grew longer, city offices closed and the post office closed, we still had a chance to squeak our form in. "Go to Staples," she emailed me at 8 pm. "They're a UPS center and they're open until 9."
So we did. And as back-up, my husband went to City Hall at 8:15 am to hand another application to a staff person as soon as they arrived. We need every penny now, and so does everyone else.
I hope this info finds its way to another person who didn't know about this program!