The eligibility criteria are the same for both the STAR credit and the STAR property tax exemption. You can’t receive both the credit and the exemption.
Eligible types of property
- houses, condominiums, cooperative apartments, manufactured homes, and farm houses
- mixed-use properties, including apartment buildings (but only the owner-occupied portion)
|Basic STAR||Enhanced STAR|
|Residency||You must own your home and it must be your primary residence.*|
|Age||No age restriction||65 or older
For jointly owned property, only one spouse or sibling must be at least 65 by December 31 of the year when the exemption will begin.
|Income**||$500,000 or less
The income limit applies to the combined incomes of only the owners and owners' spouses who reside at the property.
|For 2016 benefits, $84,550 or less.
For 2017, $86,000 or less.
The income limit applies to all owners, and any owner's spouse who resides at the property.
Some factors that help determine whether a property is your primary residence include:
- vehicle registrations, and
- length of time spent each year on the property.
The Tax Department may also request proof of residency.
Eligibility in 2017 is based on income information from the 2015 tax year. Income means federal "adjusted gross income" minus the "taxable amount" of total distributions from individual retirement accounts or individual retirement annuities (IRA's).
Special eligibility rules
You can retain an existing Enhanced STAR benefit if you're at least 62 years old as of December 31 in the year the benefit will continue. Otherwise, you may receive the Basic STAR benefit.
Nursing home residents
If you own your home, you're eligible for Basic or Enhanced STAR, as long as no one other than the co-owner or spouse resides there.
If you're a trust beneficiary who conveyed your home to trustees but continues to live in the home, you get the STAR benefit. For example, a senior creates a trust and conveys her home to her children as trustees. If she remains in the home as the beneficiary of the trust, she is considered the homeowner and gets the STAR benefit.
Under a life estate, one party has a "life tenancy" (ownership for the rest of his or her life) and another party will become the owner after the life tenant dies. For exemption purposes, the life tenant is deemed to own the property; so STAR eligibility is based on the life tenant's qualifications.