School Tax Relief Program

IMPORTANT CHANGES TO STAR PROGRAM

Important information for STAR exemption recipients

If you currently receive your STAR benefit as a reduction on your school tax bill (the STAR exemption), you may receive a greater benefit if you switch to the STAR credit; you will receive a check instead.

Note: The income limit for the Basic STAR exemption is now $250,000. If your income is more than $250,000, you must switch to the credit to continue receiving a STAR benefit.

See Changes for exemption recipients, for important information.

The School Tax Relief (STAR) program provides eligible homeowners in New York State with relief on their property taxes.

If you are a STAR recipient, you receive the benefit in one of two ways:

  • the STAR credit program (open to any eligible homeowner whose income is $500,000 or less)—you receive a check in the mail from the Tax Department to apply to your school taxes 
     
  • the STAR exemption program (now closed to new applicants)—you receive a direct reduction on your school tax bill in the form of a property tax exemption

Enhanced STAR, which provides increased savings, is available to qualifying senior citizens ages 65 and older in both the credit and exemption programs; see STAR eligibility.

"Success for Every Student"

Our motto, “Success for Every Student,” highlights the Port Chester Public Schools’ vision to prepare students academically and emotionally for college and career. To engage and support all children from kindergarten through 12th grade, we offer high-quality academics, along with a rich variety of athletics, arts, clubs, extra-curricular activities and community service options. Students may decide to pursue trade or university training, start a business, join the military or follow a unique path. With a diverse education, they can begin shaping their futures.

Highlights of District Successes through its Students

  • Elementary science and enrichment specialists
  • 2018 PCHS, Edison and PCMS recognized by U Of Albany School Of Education as odds-beating schools, showing exceptional performance in the areas of college and career readiness
  • 9 PCHS Honor Societies, 27 interest-based clubs and grade-level, student government opportunities
  • Championship marching band with districtwide vocal and instrumental music programs
  • New courses: AP Environmental Science, AP computer science, AP statistics, AP Physics, and AP Calculus BC
  • NYS “seal of bi-literacy” on high school diplomas for qualifying students
  • Nearly 40% of students enroll in Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Honors courses - 11 IB and 12 AP course offerings
  • According to U.S. News & World Report 2018, Port Chester High School identified as a “top performing high school” from among 20,500, earning a Silver Ranking of 1,481 nationwide and 134 statewide
  • Recognized by the College Board in 2018 as among 373 school districts in the U.S. and Canada for achieving increases in access to AP courses to a broader number of students while maintaining or improving the rate students earned scores of 3 or higher on AP Exams. The ONLY high school in Westchester earning this distinction. The most students in our history taking AP exams with proficient scores of 3 or better
  • Excellent 2018 Regents Exam passing rates: Algebra II 99%, Earth Science 95%, Chemistry 92%, US History 89%, Global History 84%, English 83%
  • 93% of our graduates on average attend college, majority attending 4 year colleges

Tax Cap Q&A

Please read the following information about the tax levy cap to understand its function and how it impacts school districts and community members.
 
Q:  What is the Property Tax Levy Cap?
A:  The Property Tax Levy Cap, created by legislation that was passed in June, 2011, places new restrictions on how school districts (and municipalities) may increase their tax levies. Although the new law has been referred to as a "2% tax cap," it does not in fact restrict any proposed tax levy increase to 2%. However, the law requires at least 60% voter approval for a school budget if the proposed levy increase exceeds a certain amount. That amount, which is called the "tax levy limit," will be determined by each district according to a formula outlined in the law.  It is unique and will vary by district.

Q:  Does the Property Tax Cap law limit the annual increase of my property taxes to less than 2% each year?
A:  The law does not cap an individual's school tax bill. Its requirements apply only to the total school tax levy - the total amount in property taxes a district collects. Increases in individual taxes are often different than increases in the levy due to a variety of factors outside a school district's control, including assessment values in the community.

Q:  Does the Property Tax Cap mean the total school tax levy will be limited to a 2% increase each year?
A:  No. There are exceptions that may result in a tax levy increase greater than 2%. Some of those exceptions include district growth as a result of new construction and legally mandated pension contributions. Ultimately, school districts will use a complex calculation involving eight different steps to come up with the tax levy limit.

Q:  To maintain educational programming, can the district propose a budget that exceeds the tax levy cap limit?
A:  Districts have the option to exceed their tax levy limits with 60% voter approval.

Q:  What happens if voters reject the budget?
A:  The law contains new contingent budget restrictions. If a district fails to gain voter approval and must adopt a contingent budget, then there can be NO increase in the tax levy at all. This would force incredibly difficult budget decisions for the district.