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Thursday, 23 April 2020 22:33

Assessments & Property Taxes

The Town of New Haven property values on average have risen 24.7% in the last 10 years, from a Total Equalized Value in 2008 of $127,582,000 to a Total Equalized Value in 2018 of $159,190,000. This is a positive re-affirmation that investing in real estate in these areas is an adequate opportunity for modest growth.

The Town of New Haven Assessors’ Office currently performs assessment on 1,655 parcels of property. The Town, as of 2018, had 808 property tax exemptions of which 814 were from school districts, 295 were from the County and 255 were from the Town of New Haven.

(http://orps1.orpts.ny.gov/cfapps/MuniPro/muni_theme/exsumb2.cfm?swis=353800&prefix=Town%20of%20New%20Haven&roll_yr=2018.)



Town of New Haven
Summary of Exemptions by Roll Year
2018 Assessment Rolls

Municipal Totals

Total Parcels: 

1,655

No. of Parcels w/Exemptions:

808

Percent of Parcels w/Exemptions:

48.82

No. of Exemptions: Wholly Exempt

19

No. of Exemptions: Partially Exempt

1,040

Total Equalized Value($000)*:

159,190

Exemptions:  County Purposes

No. of Exemptions:

295

Equalized Value($000)*:

10,149

Percent of Equalized Value:

6.38

Exemptions:   City/Town Purposes

No. of Exemptions:

255

Equalized Value($000)*:

9,411

Percent of Equalized Value:

5.91

Exemptions:   School Purposes

No. of Exemptions:

814

Equalized Value($000)*:

33,825

Percent of Equalized Value:

21.25

 

 

 

Monday, 20 April 2020 19:06

Assessor's Office

IMPORTANT DATES REGARDING PROPERTY ASSESSMENT:

  • January 1st:

    • - Town and County taxes become due, payable to the Town Tax Collector

  • March 1st:

    • Taxable Status Date

    • Due Date for Exemption Applications

    • ** Assessment impact notices are sent to property owners if the Town has conducted a reassessment.

  • April 1st – Property Owner authorizes informal assessment review with Town Assessor.

  • May 1st –

    • Tentative Roll Books and Values available at the Town Office

    • Assessments are based on their condition and ownership on Taxable Status Date (March 1st) and the value of property on Valuation Date (July 1st of prior year)

    • Within ten (10) days,

      • Assessment Rolls must be available on municipal website

      • Assessment increase notices must be sent to affected property owners..

  • Dates available to meet with Assessor prior to Grievance Day:

    • An appointment to review the assessment information may be made by calling the Assessor at 315-963-3900 x 3.

    • Friday, May 8th 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm

    • Saturday, May 9th 8 am to NOON

    • Monday, May 11th 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm

    • Monday, May 18th 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm

    • By appointment if necessary.

  • Board of Assessment Review. Note: You may download a BAR application from the New York State Office of Real Property Services website.

    • Tuesday, May 26th 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm

    • By appointment if necessary

  • 3rd Tuesday in May:

    • School budget voting day for all eligible Town residents.

  • 4th Tuesday in May:

    • Grievance Day (MAY 26, 2020 FROM 4 PM TO 8 PM)

    • If you contest your property assessment, you must file your grievance on RP-524 form by this date. This is the scheduled hearing date of the Board of Assessment Review (BAR.)

  • July 1st –

    • Final Roll Date

    • Valuation Date. (Assessments on 2020 assessment roll on May 1, 2020 were based on the value of the property as of July 1, 2019.)

    • Any changes made to the Tentative Roll by the Board of Assessment Review will show on this roll.

    • If you grieved your assessment and did not receive the relief you requested, you can apply for SCAR (judicial review of your assessment) within 30 days following the Final Roll Date.

  • **July 31st -

    • SCAR – SMALL CLAIMS ASSESSMENT REVIEW: The last day to file is typically July 31st. It is important that you verify this date each year to assure you are within the allowed timeline. There is a nominal fee of $30. Further information may be obtained at: http://ww2.nycourts.gov/litigants/scar/petitions.shtml

  • September 1st:

    • - School taxes become due, payable to the School Tax Collector.

 

Assessor's Office

The Assessor is a local government official who places a value on each parcel within the town. This value is converted into an assessment, which is one component in the computation of real property tax bills.

The Assessor must obtain basic certification  which requires the successful completion of courses prescribed by the New York State Office of Real Property Services.

The Assessor maintains the municipality's assessment roll--the document containing each property assessment. This includes the physical description (or inventory)  value estimate and appropriate exemptions.

The property inventory is available for inspection during regular business hours.

Saturday, 18 April 2020 22:06

Real Job of the Assessor

Who is the assessor?

The assessor is a local government official who estimates the value of real property within a city, town, or village's boundaries. This value is converted into an assessment, which is one component in the computation of real property tax bills.

What does an assessor do?

The assessor is obligated by New York State law to maintain assessments at a uniform percentage of market value each year. The assessor signs an oath to this effect when certifying the tentative assessment roll — the document containing each property assessment. The physical description (or inventory) and value estimate of every parcel is required to be kept current. In order to maintain a uniform roll, each year your assessor will need to analyze all of the properties in the municipality to determine which assessments need to be changed.

Where assessments need to be changed, in some cases, your assessor will be able to increase or decrease the assessments of a neighborhood or group of properties by applying real estate market trends to those properties. This is possible only when the assessments to be changed are at a uniform level other than the municipality's stated level of assessment. In other cases, the assessor will need to conduct physical re-inspections for reappraisals of properties. Every assessing unit should be keeping all assessments at a fair and uniform level every year.

The assessment roll shows assessments and appropriate exemptions. Every year the roll, with preliminary or tentative assessments, is made available for public inspection. After the Board of Assessment Review (BAR) has acted on assessment complaints and ordered any changes, the tentative assessment roll is made final.

What kind of property is assessed?

All real property, commonly known as real estate, is assessed. Real property is defined as land and any permanent structures attached to it. Some examples of real property are houses, gas stations, office buildings, vacant land, motels, shopping centers, saleable natural resources (oil, gas, timber), farms, apartment buildings, factories, restaurants, and, in most instances, mobile homes.

How is real property assessed?

Before assessing any parcel of property, the assessor estimates its market value. Market value is how much a property would sell for, in an open market, under normal conditions. To estimate market values, the assessor must be familiar with all aspects of the local real estate market.

A property's value can be estimated in three different ways. First, property is compared to others similar to it that have sold recently, using only sales where the buyer and seller both acted without undue pressure. This method is called the market approach and is normally used to value residential, vacant, and farm properties.

The second way is to calculate the cost, using today's labor and material prices, to replace the structure with a similar one. If the structure is not new, the assessor determines the depreciation since it was built. The resulting value is added to an estimate of the market value of the land. This method, called the cost approach, is used to value special purpose and utility properties.

The third way is to analyze how much income a property (like an apartment building, store, or factory) will produce if rented. Operating expenses, insurance, maintenance costs, financing terms, and how much money expected to be earned are considered. This method is called the income approach.

Properties in sub optimal uses generally may not be assessed at market value; they must be assessed at their current—use value.

Assessors with computers can estimate values more efficiently than by hand. Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA) techniques are used to analyze sales and estimate values for many properties at once.

Once the assessor estimates the market value of a property, its assessment is calculated. New York State law provides that all property within a municipality be assessed at a uniform percent of market value. The level of assessment can be five percent, 20 percent, 50 percent, or any other fraction, up to 100 percent. Everyone pays his or her fair share of taxes as long as every property in a locality is assessed at the same percent of value.

For example, a house with a market value of $100,000 located in a town that assesses at 15 percent of value would have an assessment of $15,000. The assessment is multiplied by the tax rate for each taxing jurisdiction — city, town, village, school district, and so on — to determine the tax bills. (For further explanation of this process, see How the Property Tax Works.)

Does the assessor have to be let into your home?

The New York State Assessors' Association pamphlet, “Understanding Assessments and Property Taxes,” states:

The Assessor has a right to go to your front door and seek admittance (possibly he or she will only want to inspect the exterior of the house) but must leave the premises if asked to do so.

If it is really inconvenient to allow an inspection at that time, tell your visitor just that and try to make an appointment for some other date. However, if you can spare the ten minutes or so that will usually be required, we urge that you allow it to proceed so that the information necessary for equitable assessment can be gathered.

The pamphlet cautions property owners not to allow anyone into their homes without proper identification, preferably I.D. cards with photographs signed by an authorized town or city official. “No identification — no entry!”

What else does an assessor do?

The assessor performs many other administrative functions, such as inspecting new construction and major improvements to existing structures. This ensures that the record of each property's physical inventory is current and that the appropriate improvements are assessed.

The assessor also approves and keeps track of property tax exemptions. Among the most common are the senior citizen, School Tax Relief (STAR), veterans, agricultural, and business exemptions.

The Real Property System is a computer software package (created and maintained by ORPTS) to assist assessment administration functions. It is available to assessors who have the necessary computer equipment, and allows them to electronically maintain the assessment roll and related records. Corrections to State form RP—5217 can also be sent to the State Board electronically. The Real Property System also includes computer—assisted mass appraisal programs for value estimation and assessment updates.

Legally, the assessor must be present at all public hearings of the Board of Assessment Review (BAR). The BAR may request the assessor to present evidence in support of tentative assessments being grieved by taxpayers. After meeting in private without the assessor, the BAR makes its decisions and orders any appropriate changes to the assessment roll before it becomes final. If assessment reductions are denied by the BAR, and property owners appeal to Small Claims Assessment Review, the assessor prepares evidence for those hearings.

The assessor reviews every transfer of real property for accuracy, including the basic information on the buyer, seller, and sale price. Assessment records are updated, and any unusual conditions affecting the transfer are also verified. Results are recorded on form RP—5217 at the real estate closing. The assessor makes corrections to this form.

ORPTS requires assessors to file an annual report on assessment changes. ORPTS also "equalizes" property assessments to a common full (market) value in each municipality.

Where can I go with questions?

The assessor is continually communicating with the public, answering questions, and dealing with concerns raised by taxpayers. Anyone can examine the assessment roll and property records at any time. However, between Taxable Status Day and the filing of the tentative roll (generally, March through May), it should be done by appointment.

It is up to individual property owners to monitor their own assessments. Taxpayers who feel they are not being fairly assessed should meet with their assessor before the tentative assessment roll is established. In an informal setting, the assessor can explain how the assessment was determined and the rationale behind it.

Assessors are interested only in fairly assessing property in their assessing unit. If your assessment is correct and your tax bill still seems too high, the assessor cannot change that. Complaints to the assessor must be about how property is assessed.

Taxpayers unhappy with growing property tax bills should not be concerned only with assessments. They should also examine the scope of budgets and expenditures of the taxing jurisdictions (counties, cities, towns, villages, school districts, and so on.) and address those issues in appropriate and available public forums.

Informal meetings with assessors to resolve assessment questions about the next assessment roll can take place throughout the year. If, after speaking with your assessor, you still feel you are unfairly assessed, the booklet, Contesting Your Assessment in New York State describes how to prepare and file a complaint with the Board of Assessment Review for an assessment reduction, and indicates the time of year it can be done.

Saturday, 18 April 2020 22:04

Role of the Town Assessor

The Assessment Department is responsible for data collection and appraisal of commercial, industrial agricultural, residential and vacant properties within the Town of New Haven. The Town Assessor administers all exemptions, reviews and analyzes sales data, manages the equalization rate, defends the Town in assessment related court cases, and disseminates large volumes of assessment and tax related data to the general public.

The Assessor is available by appointment throughout the year to discuss assessment related topics. The Assessor recognizes that the issue of property taxes and its congruence with assessments is a complicated and emotional issue. The Assessors’ office would like property owners to be aware that WE DO NOT set budgets or levy taxes. The tax rates seen on your tax bills are the result of the expenditures and levy requests of the taxing jurisdictions in which you reside.

The Assessor will accept informal requests to your assessment at any time during the year upon the filing of an “Assessment Review Consent Form” available at our offices. These forms are usually reviewed as the last part of the process in the finishing the tentative assessment roll, which is filed on May 1 of every year. The forms must be submitted by April 1st to provide time for review. Any request for an Assessment Review must include supporting data with each form. From this point on, the Assessor will only consider an assessment reduction upon full interior and exterior inspection of your property. Keep in mind that for assessment purposes (mass appraisal purposes) all buildings are measured from the OUTSIDE, where a fee appraiser will generally measure the inside. The reason is simple. Quite frankly, no one wants the Assessor in their house, while a fee appraiser is doing his job at your request for some type of possible financial gain (refinance, for example). Since all data collected has to adhere to the same process and principles, Assessors measure the outside for all properties.

The Town of New Haven appraises property at a full value. This is a Town Board decision. The equalization rate (Level of Assessment-LOA) for 2019 is 100.00%. The Equalization rate may change every year based on yearly differences in sales versus the assessments on those sales properties. The actual rate is set by the New York State Office of Real Property Tax Services. The assessment roll for 2020-2021 is based on sales data compiled between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019.

All renewal applications are mailed in late October every year for return by March 1st. Due to the large volume of exemption forms mailed to property owners that require return, review and in many cases necessitate follow-up phone calls, we firmly adhere to the State legislated March 1st exemption deadline for all exemption applications. As a public service, we attempt to call and remind as many people as we can that the exemptions are due, but staffing and time constraints limit our opportunity to reach everyone. Key dates that affect the assessment process are:

  • March 1st - Taxable Status Date

  • March 1st Exemption Filing Deadline

  • The Assessor is required by New York State law to value property as it is on this date. A partially completed building will receive a partial assessment based on its estimated percentage of completion as of March 1st. If you suffer a loss to your property (such as fire or demolition) after this date you will see no reduction for that loss on forthcoming roll. STAR, Enhanced STAR and exemption forms must be filed by this date also

  • May 1st - Tentative Roll Filed

  • 4th Tuesday in May Grievance Day

  • July 1st Final Roll Filed

The Tentative Assessment Roll is filed on May 1st and may be inspected during regular office hours. The roll is available on line at: Grievance Day is usually the 4thTuesday in May from 4:00 pm until 8:00 pm at the Town of New Haven Town Hall. The Assessor will annually post available times that the Assessor is in attendance with the roll beyond regular business hours.

If you have decided to file for an assessment reduction, you should mail or deliver the complaint form and supporting documentation to your local assessing unit so that it arrives on or before Grievance Day. If you mail the NYS RP-524 form, even if it is postmarked on or before Grievance Day, it is deemed to be late if it does NOT arrive by Grievance Day. Ideally, the form should arrive at least 3 business days before Grievance Day. The assessor can obtain an adjournment to have time to prepare a response to your complaint. The reason behind this is that due to the volume of complaints, the forms cannot be reviewed by the Assessor by Grievance Day in preparation for submission to the Board of Assessment Review. It should be noted that a personal appearance before the Board of Assessment Review IS NOT A REQUIREMENT. All paperwork will be reviewed by the Board of Assessment Review regardless of your choice not to appear.

Commercial Grievances

If you are filing a grievance on a commercial property, please fill out the attached forms and return a printed copy to our office:

Saturday, 18 April 2020 21:59

Exemptions

The Town of New Haven offers the following Exemptions, for your convenience just click on the exemption to print out a form.

KNOW THE DATE: Key Dates that Affect the Assessment Process

List of Exemptions

The following exemptions are processed through the Town of New Haven Assessors Office:

STAR exemption: (Proof of income of owners of property also required.)

New York State has changed the STAR Exemption process. All BASIC STAR recipients (Not Senior Citizens) must register for the exemption with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. Existing Basic STAR recipients (NOT Senior Citizens) will be notified directly by the State Department of Taxation and Finance when it is time to re-register. The Assessors’ office is not involved in the re-registration process!

To register for the BASIC STAR, please call 518-457-2036 or apply on the State Website at www.tax.ny.gov. The Assessor’s office CANNOT register you for the BASIC STAR and we cannot help you with the process. This is a STATE PROCESS ONLY!

Application for School Tax Relief (STAR) Exemption

RP-425B

2 pages (9/99) Application for School Tax Relief (STAR) Exemption

ENHANCED STAR exemption: - requires completion of two forms: (Proof of age and income of owners of property also required.)

Application for Enhanced School Tax Relief (STAR) Exemption

VETERAN exemption:

Application for Alternative Veterans Exemption from Real Property Taxation.

RP-458

2 pages (1/95) Application for Alternative Veterans Exemption From Real Property Taxation

SENIOR exemption:

Application for Partial Tax Exemption for Real Property of Senior Citizens.

RP-467

3 pages (1/98) Application for Partial Tax Exemption for Real Property of Senior Citizens and for School Tax Relief (STAR) Exemption

DISABILITY exemption:

Application for Partial Exemption for Real Property of Persons with Disabilities and Limited Incomes

RP-459-C

2 pages (1/98) Application for Partial Tax Exemption for Real Property of Persons with Disabilities and Limited Incomes

AGRICULTURAL exemption:

Application for Agricultural Assessment.

RP-305

9 pages (1/98) Application for Agricultural Assessment

CLERGY exemption:

Application for Partial Tax Exemption for Real Property of Members of Clergy.

RP-460

2 pages (1/95) Application for Partial Tax Exemption for Real Property of Members of Clergy.

COMMERCIAL, BUSINESS OR INDUSTRIAL exemption:

Application for Tax Exemption for Commercial, Business or Industrial Real Property

RP-485-B

2 pages (1/95) Application for Tax Exemption for Commercial, Business or Industrial Real Property.

INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY form:

RP-412-A

2 pages (1/95) Industrial Development Agencies Form

 Non-Profit Organization:

Application for Real Property Tax Exemption for Nonprofit Organization-check with the Assessor’s Office for correct form.

NOTES ON PROCESSING OF EXEMPTIONS:

It is the responsibility of the Assessor to accept, review and process (approve or deny) exemption applications. If an exemption meets all the states requirements set by state property tax law and the application is filed before the appropriate deadline, the exemption is granted. We are granted the authority by state property tax law to request any and all documentation necessary to determine eligibility for any exemption.

The more money that is removed from the assessment roll for exemption reductions, the higher the tax rates must be to compensate for the lost revenue. In some cases, a town may have more property tax exemptions than actual parcels of property within the town because many properties have more than one exemption.

Documents that may be required for various types of exemptions include, but are not limited to:

  • A completed and signed application
  • Income of the individual(s) applying
  • Copy of the Federal/State income tax return
  • Copy of the driver’s license
  • Copy of the 1099 from Social Security
  • Copy of documents verifying active duty service in the military
  • Copy of a passport or birth certificate
  • Letters of disability from Social Security, Railroad or State Commission for the Blind and Visually handicapped
  • Copies of Ordination papers for Clergy Exemptions
  • Soil Maps for agricultural exemptions or DEC certifications
  • Copies of documentation filed with the Federal government for non-profit status
  • Municipal Flood Maps
Saturday, 18 April 2020 21:56

STAR and Enhanced STAR (65+)

STAR exemption: (Proof of income of owners of property also required.)

New York State has changed the STAR Exemption process. All BASIC STAR recipients (Not Senior Citizens) must register for the exemption with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. Existing Basic STAR recipients (NOT Senior Citizens) will be notified directly by the State Department of Taxation and Finance when it is time to re-register. The Assessors’ office is not involved in the re-registration process!

To register for the BASIC STAR, please call 518-457-2036 or apply on the State Website at www.tax.ny.gov. The Assessor’s office CANNOT register you for the BASIC STAR and we cannot help you with the process. This is a STATE PROCESS ONLY!

Application for School Tax Relief (STAR) Exemption

RP-425B

2 pages (9/99) Application for School Tax Relief (STAR) Exemption

ENHANCED STAR exemption: - requires completion of two forms: (Proof of age and income of owners of property also required.)

Application for Enhanced School Tax Relief (STAR) Exemption

STAR information: https://www.tax.ny.gov/star/default.htm

Enhanced STAR information: https://www.tax.ny.gov/pit/property/star/ivp.htm

STAR check delivery schedule: https://www.tax.ny.gov/pit/property/star/star-check-delivery-schedule.htm

There are 2 checks related to STAR being mailed out right now:

  1. STAR Credit Check (https://www.tax.ny.gov/star/default.htm)
  2. Property Tax Relief Credit Check  (https://www.tax.ny.gov/pit/property/property-tax-relief.htm)

 You get the STAR Credit Check if:

  • You bought your home after 2016 and thus couldn’t apply for the exemption;
  • Your income was above $250,000 and the State graciously switched you to the check automatically;
  • Or you were conned into switching voluntarily.

 You get the Property Tax Relief Check if:

  • Your School District complied with the tax cap (The Town of New Haven complied);
  • You receive a STAR Exemption or Credit
  • Have an income below $275,000
  • And paid your school taxes last year (how they check this I’m not sure).

 The Relief check amount is a percentage of your STAR savings based on your income from 2017. For Basic STAR Exemption/Credit those making $75,000 or less will get a check that is 85% of their STAR Savings, $75k – $150k will get 60% of their STAR savings, $150k – 200k will get 35% of their STAR savings, and between $200k - $175k will get 10% of their STAR savings. For Enhanced STAR recipients the relief check will be 34% of the Enhanced STAR savings.

The income criteria for the STAR credit and the STAR property tax exemption has changed (see table, below).  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)

Eligible homeowners 

Requirements for Basic and Enhanced STAR

Factor

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 benefit will begin.

Income**

$500,000 or less for the STAR credit ($250,000 or less for the STAR exemption)

The income limit applies to the combined incomes of only the owners and owners' spouses who reside at the property.

For 2020 benefits: $88,050 or less

The income limit applies to the combined incomes of all owners (residents and non-residents), and any owner's spouse who resides at the property.

* Determining your primary residence

Some factors that help determine whether a property is your primary residence include:

  • voting,

  • vehicle registrations, and

  • length of time spent each year on the property.

The Tax Department may also request proof of residency.

** Income eligibility

Income eligibility for the 2020 STAR credit is based on federal or state income tax return information from the 2018 tax year.

Income for STAR purposes

Income means federal adjusted gross income minus the taxable amount of total distributions from IRAs (individual retirement accounts and individual retirement annuities). To determine your income eligibility, use the following table to identify line references on your 2018 federal or state income tax returns.

How to calculate your income for STAR

Form number

Title of income tax form

Income for STAR purposes

Federal Form 1040

U.S. Individual Income Tax Return

Adjusted gross
income (line 7) minus
taxable portion of IRA
distributions (see Special
instructions for IRAs
below)

NYS Form IT-201

Resident Income Tax Return

Federal adjusted gross
income (line 19) minus
taxable portion of IRA
distributions (line 9)

Special instructions for IRAs

Taxable IRA distributions are not separately reported on 2018 federal Form 1040. Use these instructions to decide whether you need to determine your taxable IRA distributions for 2018, and if so, how.

  1. If any of the following conditions apply to you, you do not need to determine your taxable IRA distributions for 2018:

    1. The amount shown on line 7 of your 2018 federal Form 1040 is less than or equal to the applicable income limit described above. (You meet the income qualification.)

    2. The amount shown on line 7 of your 2018 federal Form 1040 minus the amount shown on line 4b is more than the applicable income limit described above. (You do not meet the income qualification.)

    3. If line 4b of your 2018 federal Form 1040 is zero, your taxable IRA deductions are zero. (Your income qualification will be based on line 7 of your 2018 federal Form 1040.)

  2. If none of those conditions apply to you, you do need to determine the amount of your taxable IRA distributions for 2018:

    1. If you filed a NYS income tax return (Form IT-201) for 2018, the portion of your taxable IRA distributions is the amount shown on line 9 of that return.

    2. If you did not file a NYS income tax return (Form IT-201) for 2018, you must review your records to determine the portion of line 4b of your federal Form 1040 that is attributable to taxable IRA distributions. If you are uncertain, consult your tax advisor.

Special eligibility rules

Surviving spouses

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.

Trusts

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.

Life estates

Under a life estate, one party has a life tenancy (ownership for the rest of his or her life) and another party—the remainderman—will become the owner after the life tenant dies. While the deed may appear to convey ownership to the remainderman, the remainderman will not take title until the death of the life tenant. Therefore, for exemption purposes, the life tenant is deemed to own the property, and STAR eligibility is based on the life tenant's qualifications.

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