Governor Cuomo Begins Crackdown on STAR Tax Exemption Violators

March 10, 2014 Updated: March 10, 2014

‘Double-dippers,’ people who live in rent-regulated apartments but also claim School Tax Relief (STAR) exemption on a separately owned home, have been notified of their law-breaching practices. Records revealed that 156 duplicates of names were found on the STAR registration system and on rent-regulation records.

“These programs are meant to deliver much-needed rent and property tax relief to New York residents, and any corruption of the system hurts the hard-working tenants and homeowners who follow the rules,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a release.

The New  York State Homes and Community Renewal, and the State Tax Department sent letter to the violators, giving them 60 days to correct their records.

“This action is an important next step to protect two million rent-regulated tenants from the abuses of a relative handful who would try to defraud the system,” Commissioner and CEO of New York State Homes and Community Renewal Darryl Towns said.

The law states that those applying for the STAR tax exemption rule need to apply from their primary residence, and if an applicant is leasing a rent-regulated apartment, they cannot have another home as a primary residence.

When the state introduced the STAR registration program last year, approximately 2.4 million property taxpayers registered for the Basic Star exemption. The STAR program provides targeted school property tax savings to more than three million eligible homeowners across New York.

The Basic STAR exemption saved homeowners an average of $700 per year and is available to all homeowners with incomes below $500,000. The Enhanced STAR program is available to senior homeowners with incomes below $81,900.