Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe and Rockland County's
town supervisors are expected to announce a major initiative to eliminate
fraud and abuse of the New York State STAR property tax relief program.
County officials say a recent audit of local homeowners has identified hundreds of cases of improperly or fraudulently claimed STAR exemptions in each of
Rockland’s five towns - Clarkstown, Orangetown, Haverstraw, Stony Point and Ramapo.
Officials contend misuse and those who knowingly “double-dip” STAR exemptions cost New York taxpayers millions each year and will be targeted in the crackdown.
The New York State School Tax Relief Program, according to the state, provides homeowners with two types of partial exemptions from school property taxes. If you earn less than $500,000 and own and live in your home, you're probably eligible for the STAR exemption.
Two types of STAR exemptions:
- available for owner-occupied, primary residences where the resident owners' and their spouses income is less than $500,000
- exempts the first $30,000 of the full value of a home from school taxes
- provides an increased benefit for the primary residences of senior citizens (age 65 and older) with qualifying incomes
- exempts the first $63,300 of the full value of a home from school taxes as of 2013-14 school tax bills (up from $62,200 in 2012-13)