Categorized | Featured, Media Coverage

TIMES BEACON RECORD: Town goes after illegal STAR exemptions

Brookhaven Town Assessor James RyanTown of Brookhaven officials announced on Tuesday that they are taking down property owners who are receiving illegal tax exemptions.

At the forefront of the issue are School Tax Relief, or STAR, exemptions. The popular state program’s standard level, known as Basic STAR, is available to residents who have a household income of $500,000 or less. The home must be owner-occupied in order to qualify. However, according to Brookhaven officials, there are dozens of — if not more than 100 — homes in the town that receive the exemption even though the owners rent them out.

“We are going to send a very strong message because everyone else who is entitled is paying their fair share,” Supervisor Ed Romaine (R) said at a press conference.

In May 2014, the town enacted a law that requires all entities, including banks, to notify the Brookhaven tax assessor after it takes over ownership of a property and is therefore no longer eligible for a tax exemption the previous owner received. If the entities don’t comply within 30 days of taking ownership, they could be fined up to $5,000.

Read more at the Times Beacon Record.

Photo Credit: Erika Karp