Since 2011, New York City has lost nearly $60 million by giving property tax exemptions to deceased people. According to New York Post, city’s Department of Finance for 10 years didn’t request property owners to certify that they are still qualified and alive.
This department is supposed to check this every two years and now its incompetence is costing New Yorkers tens of millions of dollars. These losses come from a program known as Senior Citizen Homeowners’ Exemption (SCHE). Its aim is to reduces property taxes for those who are over 65 years old, and who no make no more than $37,400 per year.
“I cannot believe for the life of me that over 10 years, the city never wondered what happened when someone died and the tax break continued,” announced Comptroller Scott Stringer.
This negligence on part of the Department of Finance resulted in more than 3,000 homeowners getting these undue exemptions. These are not the only properties which were owned by deceased that were given tax exemptions.
On top of it, some of these properties were improperly qualified for Enhanced School Tax Relief Exemption that exempts $62,200 of the value of a home from school taxes.
In addition, over 70 properties owned by corporations were given tax breaks for which they weren’t qualified. Some other property owners were qualified for tax exemptions, but were given excessive breaks.
Mayor de Blasio claimed that this problem goes prior to his administration and pledged to fix it. This probably means reclaiming the money.