The New York state tax department is sending STAR tax relief checks to homeowners who don’t pay their school property taxes.
The state set up the STAR tax relief program to help reduce the pain of high local property taxes. But the state has not set up ways to avoid sending checks to tax delinquents who certainly don’t deserve free state money.
This hole in the state system was called to the attention of Syracuse.com by a reader who knew someone who exploited it.
Assessors agree: When the state sends its checks, it doesn’t know who is current on local property taxes.
That information is easily accessible public information on file in each county. But the state does not request it from Onondaga County’s real property tax services office, Director Don Weber said.