Assemblymember Bronson Co-Sponsors Bill to Roll Back Barriers to STAR Tax Relief

Assemblymember Harry Bronson (D-Rochester/Chili/Henrietta) announced that he is co-sponsoring legislation to reverse changes to the School Tax Relief (STAR) program that have become barriers for reliable tax relief (A.5969).

“Homeowners have reached out to me who are frustrated with delays or errors in their STAR rebate checks,” said Bronson. “Rather than making tax relief easier on families and seniors, the changes imposed last year make it much harder. With this bill, homeowners will be able to get their STAR tax relief upfront – like it was before.”

Changes made to STAR last year altered how some homeowners receive their property tax relief. First-time home buyers and anyone moving to a new home had to pay a higher school tax bill, then register for a rebate through the state Department of Taxation and Finance and wait to receive their checks each fall. However, many checks came late, if at all, and some were not for the correct amount.

The legislation returns the administration of STAR back to local assessors and returns the program to an upfront reduction in their school tax bill for all eligible homeowners. The state is also required to help localities inform residents of changes to ensure they get the exemptions they’re due. In addition, new homeowners will have 60 days to register for the STAR exemption for the 2017-18 school year if not already signed up.