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State, eyeing fraud, will require re-registration for school-tax break

New York will require homeowners to re-register for the “STAR” property-tax rebate in an effort to crack down on fraud.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and lawmakers have inserted the requirement into the 2013-14 state budget that they intend to enact this week. The initiative comes after the Cuomo administration and a state comptroller's audit found some homeowners were receiving improper tax benefits.

Some of the improprieties included “double dipping,” or receiving STAR benefits for more than one residence. Other improper beneficiaries include people who own second homes in New York but whose primary residence is out of state – potentially affecting some second-home owners in the Hamptons and other areas on the eastern end of Long Island.

Launched under former Gov. George Pataki in 1997, STAR (School Tax Relief Program) allows a certain portion of home value to be exempt from school taxes. Annual exemptions total $2.7 billion, Cuomo officials have said.

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