All new applications and renewals must be filed on or before March 1 each year.

Tax relief may be available for eligible applicants applying for any of the following major exemptions.

For Property and School Taxes

  • Senior Citizens with Limited Income - Each of the owners of the property must be 65 years of age or over, except that where the owners are husband and wife or are siblings, only one spouse or sibling need be 65 years or over, before December 31st of given year. You must reside at the premises for a year before you can apply.  The school districts also allow this exemption, unless there is a school-aged child, attending public school, residing on the property.

    Along with an age requirement, the gross income cannot exceed $37,400 minus unreimbursed medical expenses. Please bring the following information with you when you apply: proof of age, executed copy of income tax (if filed), Social Security benefit statements, statements of wages, pensions, interest, dividends, capital gains, nontaxable interest, IRA year end statement, unreimbursed medical expenses, and rental income or alimony if applicable. We have a checklist to help with this process. This application must be renewed by March 1 of each year. Check with the Assessor’s office if you missed the deadline for allowable exceptions.

    In the past, if you qualified for the Senior with Limited Income, you automatically were granted the Enhanced STAR. Due to changes in New York State law beginning with new applications for 2020, you must apply separately for the Enhanced STAR exemption by submitting form RP-425-E along with RP-425-IVP (income verification program). This will be a one-time application. In the following years the NYS Tax Department will verify your income eligibility for Enhanced STAR only and will contact you if they need additional information.  You will still need to apply for the Senior Citizens with Limited Income (RP-467 or RP-467-Rnw) every year at the Assessor’s office with your income stated above.  For more information on STAR, please see below.
  • Alternative Veterans - The Assessor's Office will accept applications for qualified residential property owned and occupied by veterans who served during defined periods of war. Surviving spouses of a veteran may also be eligible to apply. This exemption applies to the town and county portion of the General Property Taxes..  It does not affect special district tax levies. The qualified residential parcel will receive a 15% reduction of its assessed value, and, if combat duty can be documented, an additional 10% will be applied. If the veteran received a service-connected disability rating, one-half of the disability rating will be added to the exemption. Each of these items is subject to a maximum assessed value of $240,000. All 3 schools districts also adopted the Alternative Veterans Exemption, but at a lower level than the Town and County.
  • Cold War Veterans - Section 458-b of the Real Property Tax Law authorizes a limited exemption from real property taxes for residential real property owned by persons who rendered military service to the United States during the Cold War (defined as September 2, 1945 to December 26, 1991), provided such property meets the requirements set forth in the law. The Cold War Exemption is available on a veteran's primary residence. For more information on eligibility requirements, please visit the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance website.  The Bethlehem Central School District has adopted the Cold War Veterans Exemption, but at a lower level than the Town and County.  
  • Disability - The New York State Real Property Tax Law allows local governments the option of granting a reduction in the amount of property taxes paid by qualifying persons with disabilities. To qualify, persons with disabilities must have a Notice of Award from the Social Security Administration. This award must certify the applicant's eligibility to receive Social Security Disability Insurance. A certificate from the State Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped may be used as well as an award letter from the Railroad Retirement Board certifying the applicant's eligibility to receive railroad retirement disability benefits. The property must be occupied and owned by the person with the disability. The disabled person does not have to be 65 years of age. Combined gross income must be no more than $37,400, including Social Security, in order to qualify for the exemption. The application must be renewed each year.
  • Clergy - Real property that is owned either (1) by a member of the clergy who is engaged in the work of his or her religious denomination or who is unable to perform such work because of age (over 70 years) or impaired health or (2) by the unremarried surviving spouse of such a member of the clergy is exempt from general municipal and school district taxes to the extent of $1,500 of assessed value, provided that the owner is a resident and inhabitant of New York State.  Application must be filed every year for this exemption.

For School Taxes Only - STAR (School Tax Assessment Relief)

To receive the STAR exemption OR credit check, you must own your home and it must be your primary residence.  There are income limits for both the Basic and Enhanced STAR.  The Assessor’s office will only be accepting Basic STAR Exemption applications if you had the exemption in 2015 and lost it due to excessive income.  New Enhanced STAR applications will only be accepted if currently receiving Basic STAR (see below).

  • NEW homeowners or First-time STAR applicants - New legislation was enacted in 2016 which made changes to the STAR program.  Homeowners who purchased their homes after March 1, 2015 and/or those applying for a STAR for the first time after March 1, 2015 will now be getting a STAR credit in the form of a check rather than receiving an exemption on their school tax bill, if qualified and registered.  Total income of the owner(s) and owner’s spouse who primarily reside at the property must not exceed $500,000 for Basic STAR.  The dollar value of the check will be the same as the property tax exemption savings.  To get the STAR Credit Check you must register with NYS Department of Taxation and Finance not the Assessor’s office.  The Tax Department will determine whether you qualify for the Basic or Enhanced STAR Credit Check.  For easy access to the “register for the STAR credit” webpage, go to https://www.tax.ny.gov/star.  If you have questions, please call NYSDTF at 518-457-2036.
  • Enhanced STAR – The INCOME VERIFICATION PROGRAM (IVP) is now MANDATORY for everyone currently receiving the Enhanced STAR including those receiving the Senior Citizens with Limited Income exemption whether you file NYS income taxes or not.  Starting in 2019, to receive the Enhanced STAR exemption, you MUST enroll in the Income Verification Program (IVP) with the Assessor’s office.  You only need to enroll in the IVP once.  If eligible for the Enhanced STAR exemption, you’ll automatically receive the exemption each year thereafter.  The NYS Tax Department will verify your income eligibility.  You will not need to renew the exemption or provide copies of your tax returns to the Assessor’s office in the following years.  The Assessor’s office will no longer be sending out postcards to confirm enrollment.  The NYS Tax Department will contact you if any additional information is needed.  If you have already enrolled in the IVP program you don’t need to do anything additional.

    The Assessor’s office will accept NEW Enhanced STAR applications only if you are currently receiving the Basic STAR exemption.  All owners must be at least 65 years of age by December 31st (unless owners are spouses or siblings, in which case only one needs to be 65.)  The income limit for the Enhanced STAR is annually adjusted for inflation.  Currently the federal adjusted gross income on the 2019 income tax (less IRA distributions) cannot exceed $90,550.  To apply for the Enhanced STAR, you must submit form RP-425-E and RP-425-IVP along with proof of age and income.  For questions on exemptions you may visit or call the Assessor’s Office at 518-439-4955, extension 1104.
  • NEW for 2019
  • 2019-2020 Enacted State Budget includes several provisions impacting the STAR Program.  To encourage property owners to switch to the STAR credit, the budget:
    • caps the annual growth in STAR exemption (Basic & Enhanced) savings at 0%, and
    • reduces the income limit for the Basic STAR exemption from $500,000 to $250,000.
    STAR credit, (also known as STAR credit check) however, can continue to increase up to 2% annually (Basic & Enhanced) and the Basic income limit for the STAR credit remains $500,000. You will receive a check directly from NYS Tax and Finance every year you qualify.

    If you want to switch from the STAR exemption to the STAR credit, register with NYS Tax and Finance for the STAR credit and choose make the switch. You can register by visiting www.tax.ny.gov or calling 518-457-2036.  This registration only needs to be done once.  Print your confirmation number.

    Please note that the renunciation of a STAR exemption is irrevocable. This includes property owners who renounce their STAR exemption to switch to the credit; they CANNOT switch back to the exemption at a later time.

Third Party Notices

If a senior would like their renewal forms sent to another person, they can obtain a Third Party Notice Application from the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance web site or the Town Assessor's Office. All renewal forms would be sent to the person designated on the form.

For more information on exemptions in New York State, please visit the New York State Property Taxes and Assessments website.