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.
These taxes provide the largest revenue sources for municipalities and school district services. Learn more about how property taxes work in New York state.
- Property taxes are used to fund schools, fire and police, roads, and other municipal projects.
- Your property value assessment in New York is equal to a set percentage of its market value, which is determined by the office of your local assessor.
- New York allows for property tax exemptions for senior citizens, veterans, and people with disabilities.
- Homeowners in New York are eligible for the STAR, or School Tax Relief, credit or exemption.
Why Do I Have to Pay Property Tax?
In New York state, property taxes are local taxes. They are raised and spent by local governments. This money is used to finance local civic and social needs, such as:
- Fire and police departments
- Road maintenance
- Other local government services
The largest percentage of the money raised through New York property taxes goes toward funding schools.
How Do Property Taxes Work in New York State?
Property tax is paid on all real property. Real property is land and any structures on it. This can include:
- Mobile homes
- Apartment buildings
- Gas stations
- Office buildings
- Vacant land
New York state law requires that all real property in each municipality (except in New York City and 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.
Your property taxes are based on this assessed value. Properties are reassessed every year, which means the property tax you have to pay changes every year as well.
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, which means they vary by location.
You can appeal your assessment if you disagree with it, but you will have to justify why it should be assessed differently.
Most New Yorkers will get two property tax bills over the course of the year. The first arrives in September after assessments are finalized. This is the tax bill for schools and sometimes local libraries. The second arrives in January of the following year. This one is for county and town taxes. It can also be for other special district charges.
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. New York law permits local governments to allow different exemptions. New York has exemptions for older adults, veterans, and anyone who is disabled.
Senior Citizen Exemption
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.
Each county, city, or school district is allowed to set its own limit for the full 50% exemption at any point between $3,000 and $29,000. Income limits are higher in New York City; they can be up to $50,000.
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 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. You must meet certain income limitations and other requirements that are determined by your locality. The basic exemption is equal to 50% off the value of the property.
Like the senior citizen exemption, the income limits are set by your locality and must be between $3,000 and $29,000 for the full 50% exemption. Your city, town, or school district can also offer exemptions of less than 50% for people whose income exceeds the set limits.
Each locality decides whether to offer these exemptions, so they might not be available everywhere in the state.
New York also offers School Tax Relief, known as the STAR credit. This is sent to you each year as a check. If you live in New York, you are eligible for the STAR credit if:
- You own a one, two, or three-family home, condo, cooperative apartment, manufactured home, or farm dwelling.
- It is your primary residence.
- Your income is $500,000 or less.
The basic STAR credit is based on the first $30,000 of the assessed value of your home. It applies to school taxes only. There are also enhanced STAR credits for anyone 65 and older with an income of $92,000 or less for the 2022 tax year.
There is also a STAR exemption in New York. The income limit for that is $250,000 if you are under age 65.