Under state law, the School Tax Relief (STAR) program offers exemptions that can now grow only by 2 percent per year.
The Basic STAR exemption is available on a homeowner's primary resident for anyone who owns and lives in his or her own home and earns less than $500,000 a year.
The Enhanced STAR exemption is available on the primary residence of taxpayers age 65 or older wiht yearly incomes below $81,900. (This is the 2014 figure.)
In the 2014, the STAR program rules did not change, however, the state comptroller's office has discovered that many exemtpions were improperly granted in the past. To stop this abuse of the system, the state legislature has started to require periodic renewal of Basic STAR exemptions. In order to continue receiving STAR exemptions, taxpayers were required to re-register with the NYS Tax Department by March 1. [STAR PROGRAM]
BH-BL residents over the age of 65 with an income of $37,400 or less (as of 2014) also ca be exempted from paying school taxes on 5 to 50 percent of their home's assessed value depending on their income.
The district also grants a disability exemption ranging from 5 to 50 percent for qualifying residents of any age with disabilities and incomes less than $37,500.
Applications for either the district Senior Citizen or Disability exemptions and for the state's STAR exemption must be filed with your town assessor's office.
The New York State legislature recently amended state law to create an Alternative Veterans Exemption which gives school districts the option to exempt from school tax the residential property of certain veterans. The legislature declined to exempt veterans from income or other state taxes or make a statewide exemption for such things as religious or government property. Unlike certain other tax breaks such as STAR (School Tax Assessment Relief), the state would not reimburse school districts for the taxes local veterans would not pay. Instead, local taxpayers who are not veterans would be assessed the difference. The exemption, once adopted, cannot be reversed by a subsequent Board.
After careful consideration, the BH-BL Board of Education decided at its public finance committee meeting on Feb. 2, 2015 not to adopt the Alternative Veterans Exemption for property taxes.
“The board of education joins all district residents in our sincere appreciation to veterans for their service to our country,” said Board President James Maughan, “But we’ve decided that dividing residents by veteran status into taxpayers and non-taxpayers may not be the best way to express that support, or in the best long-term interest of the district.”