Residential Property Exemptions - Assessment Bureau

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The following is a brief description of residential (Homestead) property tax exemptions available to property owners in the City of Rochester.

You must apply for any exemption for which you may be eligible by February 1st.

For information and instructions, call the Bureau of Assessment exemption hotline at (585) 428-6994 or stop by the office at City Hall, 30 Church St., Room 101A. For a detailed online explanation, go to the Links page for NYS ORPTS' descriptions of exemptions.

Basic STAR Tax Credit Program

The STAR program has changed.  New STAR recipients will receive a check directly from New York State instead of receiving an exemption on their tax bill.  The amount of the benefit will be the same.  To be eligible for a STAR check you must register with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance at www.tax.ny.gov/star or by calling 518-457-2036. 

Note: property owners with an existing STAR exemption will keep that exemption as long as they continue to own and reside at the property.  If the property owner moves to a different residence, they will have to register with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.   

Seniors Exemptions 

Enhanced STAR for Seniors Tax Credit Program

The Enhanced STAR for Seniors has also changed.  To be eligible, the property must be the primary residence of an owner who is age 65 or older (or a surviving spouse age 62 or older) and had a maximum household income of $86,300 in the previous year.  To be eligible for the STAR check you must register with the New York State Department of Taxation at www.tax.ny.gov/star or by calling 518-457-2036. 

For property owners with an existing STAR exemption (Basic or Enhanced) they will keep that exemption as long as they continue to own and reside at the property.  For owners turning 65 and converting their Basic STAR exemption to an Enhanced STAR Exemption, the City of Rochester will administer the exemption but you must notify and apply with the Bureau of Assessment by February 1st. 

Due to changes made by New York State, all property owners, new and renewal applicants, must enroll in the New York State Income Verification Program (IVP).  New York State Department of Taxation and Finance will verify your income for annual renewals and you will no longer be required to submit documentation in the future to the Bureau of Assessment starting with the 2020 tax year.  However, if you are receiving the Senior Aged Exemption, you will have to file annual renewals with the Bureau of Assessment.  The New York State RP-425 Enhanced STAR and IVP forms are available by clicking the First Time Applications or Annual Renewal Applications Links below.             

Below are links to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance's website with helpful questions and answers for the Income Verification Program (IVP).

    Questions and Answers      

    Enhanced STAR Income Verification Program      

Senior Citizens Aged Exemption

For property which is the primary residence of an owner who is age 65 or older (or a surviving spouse age 62 or older) and had a maximum household income of $37,400* in the previous year. *Subject to increase.  Annual renewal is required to update income information. The annual renewal application is mailed to the owner. If a child attending public school resides on the premises, including in a rental unit, the exemption will not apply to the School Tax.)

If you are applying for the Aged Exemption for the first time and have had a Basic STAR exemption, you will also need to apply for the Enhanced STAR.  In addition, you will need to file a New York State Income Verification Form (IVP).  See the Enhanced STAR information above. 

If you have been receiving the Senior Aged Exemption and the Enhanced STAR Exemption, you must file the New York State Income Verification Form (IVP) in order to continue receiving the Enhanced STAR.  See the Enhanced STAR information above.    

Veterans
for residential properties owned by a veteran (or unmarried surviving spouse) which is the primary residence of the owner, who served during defined periods of war/conflict or served during the Cold War between September 2, 1945 and December 26, 1991. (Applies to City, School and Monroe County Taxes only).

Disabled
for residential property with an owner and primary resident who receives Social Security disability payments, Railroad Retirement disability benefits, Veterans Affairs (VA) Disability Pension, or has a state certificate designating them as legally blind. The maximum household income of $37,400* in the previous year is a requirement for this exemption. *Subject to increase. The annual renewal application is mailed to the owner. (Applicable to City, School and Monroe County taxes only).

Capital Improvements to Residential Property
for one and two family houses which have undergone reconstruction, alteration, or improvement. The cost of the improvements must be at least $3,000. Expenditures for maintenance do not qualify. The exemption applies to an increase in assessed value due to the improvements. (Applies to City and School Taxes only.)   Click here for an application

Solar, Wind and Farm Waste Energy Systems Exemption
An exemption for property that contains a solar, wind, or farm waste energy system meeting the requirements approved by the NYS Energy Research and Development Authority.  This exempts for 15 years any increase in value attributed to the energy production of the system and not for other dual uses such as living space.  This applies in general to systems constructed since 1990.  For more details on the technical specifications and construction dates click here.  For the application click here.  (Applies to City, School, & County Taxes.)

Clergy
For residence owned by a clergy person (or unmarried surviving spouse) who is engaged in the work assigned by the church or denomination of which they are a member.  (Applies to City, School, & County Taxes.)  Click here for an application.

Construction of Living Quarters for Parent or Grandparent
The property must be the owner's principal place of residence and the primary residence of at least one parent or grandparent. The exemption applies to a resultant increase in assessed value due to the construction. (Applicable to Monroe County taxes only.)  Click here for an application.

Historic Improvement Exemption
an exemption on the increased assessed value due to alteration or improvements approved by the Historic Preservation Board. (Applies to City and School Taxes only.) Click here for an application.

Religious, Educational, Charitable, Hospital, and Other Nonprofit
Property must be owned by the nonprofit organization seeking the exemption. It cannot be owned by individuals, profit-making corporations, or other non-exempt groups. The property must be used for tax exempt purposes. (Applies to City, School and County Taxes.)