New York State property taxes are some of the highest in the nation, according to the nonprofit Tax Foundation. The state technically doesn't impose a property tax and doesn't benefit from the tax revenues—they're assessed by local governments, county governments, and school districts—but the state code does offer exemptions for people who use their homes as their primary residences, as well as older adults, veterans, and people with disabilities.
Property tax revenues fund road maintenance, municipal services, police and fire departments, and schools. These taxes provide the largest revenue sources for municipalities and school district services.
New York Tax Assessments
New York state law requires that all properties in each municipality except New York City and in Nassau County must be assessed at a uniform percentage of market value each year. This means that your assessment will be equal to a set percentage of market value as determined by your local assessor's office.
Properties are re-assessed every year. You can appeal your assessment if you disagree with it.
New York Property Tax Rates
Your property tax bill will equal your final assessment amount multiplied by the local property tax rate. New York property tax rates are set by local governments and they therefore vary by location.
Property tax rates imposed by school districts tend to be the highest at an average of $17.64 per each $1,000 in assessed value as of 2019. Rates levied by counties drop to $7.05 per $1,000 in assessed value, and to just $4.59 per $1,000 in assessed value for town rates.
Property Tax Reductions and Exemptions
Property tax exemptions reduce the assessment of your property's value, which is what your property tax bill is based on when your local rate is applied to it. New York law permits local governments to allow different exemptions. New York has exemptions for older adults, veterans, and the disabled.
There's also the STAR (School Tax Relief) exemption for residential property that's used as the owner’s primary residence.
- Senior citizen exemptions: New York State law allows local governments and school districts to give qualifying senior citizens up to a 50% reduction in the assessed value of their residential property. You must be 65 or older to qualify and you must meet certain income limitations and other requirements. Localities also have the option of granting an exemption of less than 50% to senior citizens whose incomes exceed the income limits. Localities can do this by creating a system where the exemption slowly fades out as income increases.
- Veterans: Veterans who purchase their property using money from their pensions, insurance settlements, or bonuses can receive an exemption that reduces their assessments. The amount of the exemption is determined by each locality. Local governments are also allowed to give exemptions to veterans who served during wartime or who received an expeditionary medal. A third exemption is allowed specifically for Cold War veterans.
- Exemptions for the disabled: State law allows exemptions for disabled persons who have documented evidence of their disability and who meet certain income limitations and other requirements as determined by each locality. The basic exemption is equal to 50% off the value of the property. Localities can also offer exemptions of less than 50% for people whose income exceeds the set limits.
- STAR exemptions: New Yorkers who own and live in their one, two, or three-family home, condo, cooperative apartment, manufactured home, or farm dwelling are eligible for a STAR exemption on their primary residence. The basic star exemption is equal to $30,000 off the full value of a home for school taxes only. There are also enhanced STAR exemptions for senior citizens who meet income limitations.
Each locality decides whether to offer these exemptions, so they might not be available everywhere in the state.
COVID-19 Tax Relief
The New York City Council extended tax relief to local property owners whose property taxes were due on July 1, 2020, giving several more months to file without penalty. However, these extensions have since expired.
In April 2021, New York Mayor Andrew Cuomo announced the continuation of middle-class tax cuts in order to help New Yorkers recover from the economic burden of COVID-19.
From a property tax standpoint, the budget provides some homeowners a personal income tax credit. New Yorkers with incomes up to $250,000 are eligible as long as their total property tax exceeds a fixed percentage of their income.
Check with your local county or municipal tax authority to find out if your location is also offering some type of coronavirus relief in 2021.