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STAR abatement rulesDec 03, 2020

It is my understanding that a shareholder in a coop building can only collect STAR abatement funds for an apartment s/he actually LIVES IN. If an apartment is an investment, but said shareholder lives elsewhere, s/he cannot legally collect for the unit in which s/he does not live (never lived).

Do I understand this correctly? Can someone knowledgeable about this chime in please?

Also, is there any way—without the Management or the Board’s assistance—that someone can find out whether or not an investor is inappropriately receiving STAR rebates in this fashion? (I've already checked with a friend who worked previously at the DOF, and she is no longer a source of info for me.)

Thank you so much.

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STAR - Marty Dec 04, 2020

I believe your understanding is correct. The apartment must be the primary residence of at least one owner. The STAR eligibility rules can be found here: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/finance/benefits/landlords-star.page

I'm not an attorney, but I don't think you as another shareholder can access someone else's STAR account due to privacy issues. I could be wrong about this.

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STAR abatement rules - DP Dec 06, 2020

Thank you, Marty, for confirmation/verification on what I thought. I agree with you about the second point as well. Unfortunately, there are ways (sites, phone numbers, etc.) to REPORT malfeasance, but not to DISCOVER malfeasance. I'm not interested in reporting anyone, but I will continue to see if I can get an answer. If this guy is cheating on that, he has no business being on the Board, controlling aspects of my financial life. Plus, he's been brought up on sexual harassment charges (not in my building, but elsewhere). Ugh.

ANOTHER QUESTION: Do you know if there's a limit on the %age a coop can legally increase the maintenance?

Thanks again!

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STAR - Marty Dec 07, 2020

The Board (your treasurer at a minimum) should receive a copy (issued by Dept of Finance) of the abatements given to all shareholders. We receive this copy from our managing agent. The info would be listed there - if you can get a copy.

If he has no business being on the Board, then try to change that. Run against him or support a candidate who will. That's the only way to change things.

I don't know if there's a legal limit to a maintenance increase (I'm guessing no), but if there's a double digit increase being proposed by the Board, they should be explaining to the shareholders why it's needed.

A co-op is like any other corporation where the Board must answer to its shareholders. They'd better have good reasons for a very large maintenance increase and then be able to explain it to the s/h in plain English.

Why might there be a large increase? It's possible that there were some huge expenses during the year that depleted your reserve fund - such as a new boiler or roof repairs. Perhaps the Board decided that a maintenance increase was better than an assessment.

Good luck.

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STAR abatement rules - DP Dec 08, 2020

Thank you Marty.

It's impossible to get information, which is why I keep turning to this forum for other ideas. In general, I'm seeking ideas around normal channels.

The Treasurer is in cahoots with this and another objectionable Board member. We ARE, of course, trying to get him & the other one gone. It's a hot mess and I cannot appeal this through any normal channel.

Yes, there were huge expenses this past year. We've had huge expenses in the past. But they're also talking nonsense about a vanity project that, to me, is ill-timed and disconnected from the reality we are now facing in this crisis, while not even mentioning paying off the violations we have.

Anyway... thanks!

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