ITHACA, NY – Back in April, when New York State passed its new budget, it changed up the way it handled the STAR (School Tax Relief) tax cut. The new system requires certain people to register with the state, but unfortunately a few hundred didn’t get the memo.

According to Tompkins County Director of Assessment Jay Franklin, in May his office sent out 989 letters to households informing people that had applied for STAR with the county but were not eligible and should instead apply under the new state system.

The state recently returned a list of the Tompkins residents who had applied for the new system, which showed that at least 454 of them had not.

The new state system applies to people who purchased a new home after March 1, 2015 and make less than $500,000 a year. Households that already received the STAR exemption before that date will continue to do so.

The new system provides a break in the form of an income tax credit, rather than a break on school taxes.

You can register for the new STAR credit here. There’s still time to register, but Franklin says those who register now won’t receive a rebate by tax time in September or October, but will receive it eventually.

The STAR program provides a tax cut for school taxes for households with an income under $500,000. Statewide, the average yearly savings from the STAR program per homeowner was $737 in 2015, according to a report.

Michael Smith

Michael Smith reports on politics and local news for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached via email at, by cell at (607) 229-0885, or via Google Voice at (518) 650-3639.