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

  • Agricultural Assessment Information
  • 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 a married couple or are siblings, only one spouse or sibling need be 65 years or over, before December 31st of given year. You must own and 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.

    There have recently been changes in the law (RPTL-467) to simplify the “definition of income”, specify which income year to use and increase the maximum income level to qualify for the exemption. Albany County has adopted the maximum income limit of $58,400. The simplified definition of income is: your federal adjusted gross income (FAGI), PLUS tax exempt interest and dividends, PLUS non-taxable portion of social security, MINUS taxable IRA distributions, PLUS any losses over the $3000 per category/$15,000 max allowed, MINUS any unreimbursed medical expenses. It is no longer gross income.

    Along with an age requirement, the 2022 income cannot exceed $58,400 for the 2024 exemption. Please bring the following information with you when you apply: proof of age, executed copy of Federal income tax (if filed), year- end statements including: Social Security statements, statements of wages, pensions, interest and dividends (taxable and non-taxable), capital gains, unemployment compensation, alimony and other income documentation. Include unreimbursed medical expenses if applicable. We have a checklist to help with this process. If you do NOT file income tax you must fill out the Income worksheet for Senior Citizens Exemption (RP-467-Wkst).in addition to the application. All forms are available in our office or website under the Forms link to the left. 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, you must apply separately for the Enhanced STAR exemption only if you are currently receiving the BASIC STAR exemption by submitting form RP-425-E along with RP-425-IVP (income verification program). This will be a one-time application. Going forward NYS Tax Department will verify your income eligibility for Enhanced STAR only and will contact you if they need additional information, or you may switch to the STAR credit (check) with NYS Tax and Finance instead. You will still need to apply for the Senior Citizens (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 with Limited Income - 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.  All owners must be disabled unless owned by married couple or siblings to qualify. The disabled person does not have to be 65 years of age. The definition of income as well as income year used has recently changed and is the same as the Senior Citizens (limited income). Combined 2022 income must be no more than $58,400 including Social Security, in order to qualify for the exemption. The application must be renewed each year by March 1st.
  • Physically Disabled- Property must be owned either by a physically disabled person or by a person having a physically disabled member in the household. Property must be occupied by the physically disabled resident of the property. The disabled person must have a permanent physical impairment that substantially restricts one or more of his major life activities, and such impairment must be certified by a qualified physician or the State Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped, as appropriate. To be eligible for exemption, the improvement to the property must be one which facilitates the disabled person's use of and accessibility to the property. Any increase in value is exempt from taxation to the extent of any increase in value attributable to such improvements. Property must be a one-, two-, or three-family residence. This is a local option in which the Town of Bethlehem and Bethlehem Central School District allow.
  • Business Exemption – See www.tax.ny.gov for details.RP-485-b. Property taxes only.
  • Nonprofit Exemptions – See www.tax.ny.gov for details RP-420-a- Org Mandatory Class, RP-420-b- Org –Permissive Class, RP-420-a/b-Use –must be filed with Organization forms.
  • Conservation Easement Exemption – please visit the Conservation Easement Review Board's web page.
  • 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 un-remarried 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.
  • Volunteer Firefighters and Ambulance workers – The exemption will equal 10% of the assessed value of the property for qualified volunteer firefighters and volunteer ambulance service personnel.  The applicant must be an enrolled member (active) and have been certified by the Authority having jurisdiction.  For the firefighters, the Board of Fire Commissioners and for Ambulance workers, the Bethlehem Town Board, are the qualifying jurisdictions.  Application RP-466-a-vol and a certificate from the Authority having jurisdiction are required at time of application.  You cannot claim a NYS income tax credit and exemption for the same volunteer service.

    Applicants for this exemption would need at least 2 years of certified service and reside in the jurisdiction, Town of Bethlehem, served by the Fire Company, fire department, or ambulance service. The exemption is exclusively for residential purposes, and the property must be owned and the primary residence of the volunteer.  Volunteers with more than 20 years of service would qualify for a lifetime exemption as long as they maintain a primary residence in the Town of Bethlehem.

    Surviving un-remarried spouse of a deceased volunteer killed in the line of duty, provided that the volunteer had been an enrolled member for at least 5 years and had been receiving the exemption prior to his or her death qualifies

    Surviving un-remarried spouse of a deceased volunteer with at least 20 years as an enrolled member who has been receiving the exemption qualifies.

    The Town of Bethlehem, County of Albany, Bethlehem Central School District, Selkirk FD, Elsmere FD, Slingerlands FD, Delmar FD, & Elmwood Fire District have all adopted 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 but could increase up to 2% annually.  To get the STAR Credit Check you must register with NYS Department of Taxation and Finance not the Assessor’s office.  The NYS 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 Assessor’s office will accept NEW Enhanced STAR exemption 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 2021 income tax (less IRA distributions) cannot exceed $93,200. To apply for the Enhanced STAR, you must submit form RP-425-E and RP-425-IVP along with proof of age and income to the Assessor’s office by March 1st.  If eligible for the Enhanced STAR exemption, you will automatically receive the exemption each year thereafter.  The NYS Tax Department will verify your income eligibility annually.  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 NYS Tax Department will contact you if any additional information is needed.  For questions on exemptions you may visit or call the Assessor’s Office at 518-439-4955, extension 1104.
  • Make the switch to STAR Credit– To encourage property owners to switch to the STAR Credit, the state:
    • caps the annual growth in STAR exemption (Basic and 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 and 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 instead of a deduction on your school tax bill.

    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.