Real Estate

Changes to Star Rebate Program

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In 2015, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s changes to the New York State School Tax Relief Program (STAR), affected many homeowners. There are two types of STAR Programs: Basic and Enhanced.

 

The Basic Program provides a $300 tax reduction and there is no age requirement. To qualify for Basic STAR the resident and/or their spouse cannot have a combined income of more than $500,000.

 

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Mayor May Reconsider Air Rights Policy

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Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to announce changes to the city’s air rights policy, affecting the way how unused development rights are bought and sold. Crain’s New York Business reported that the City Planning Commission has also solicited feedback from land use attorneys and nonprofit organizations on what changes they would like to see regarding development rights.

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New Bill to Target New York’s ‘Zombie Properties’

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Law360 reports seventy-six municipalities across New York will be receiving grants to help fight the abundance of “Zombie Properties” popping up across the state. “Zombie Properties” are abandoned homes that are not being maintained during the foreclosure process. Since the housing crisis of 2008, New York has seen an increase of these properties across the state.

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After a Hot 2015, Fewer Building Permits are Being Issued This Year

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The U.S. Census Bureau recently released its report on building permits issued in the city. According to Crain’s New York Business, only 7,439 permits were issued so far this year. The agency predicts that, at this pace, only 13,000 permits will be given out to developers by the end of the year — far less than the 56,000 permits issued in 2015.

 

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New Real Estate Law Requires Disclosure of Shell Company Members

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A new law passed by the De Blasio administration concerning real estate sales in New York City requires disclosure of the names of shell company members.  Over half the luxury condos that sold for five million or more last year were purchased by LLCs.  Depending on the state in which the LLC was formed, individual members may not need to be named.  (For example, filing for an LLC in Delaware offers anonymity protection to its members).  Prior to the enactment of this law, it was easy for those owning property in NYC to avoid paying taxes on it by claiming residency outside the city. 

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IRS Deadline to File Foreign Accounts Disclosure (FBAR): June 30, 2015

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Any U.S. person having foreign bank accounts with an aggregate value in excess of $10,000 at any time in tax year 2014 is required by law to file annual  FBAR (FinCEN Form 114) by June 30, 2015. Any U.S. person (this is not limited to only U.S. citizens) who had foreign accounts (bank, securities, insurance and/or annuity policies, mutual funds, etc.) with aggregate value exceeding $10,000.00 at any time during the year are required to file the FBAR disclosure. Deadlines are strict and there are no extensions. Penalties for failure to file are stiff.

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Tips on Buying Distressed Homes (Foreclosed or Short Sale)

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To some individuals, the idea of buying a home in distress is a turn-off of sorts; however, the truth is, there are some real hidden treasures marked with the signs of "Foreclosure" or "Short sale," and many buyers do themselves a disservice by writing off these opportunities before giving them any thoughtful consideration.  Yet some have caught on to the great advantages that lurk around the corner when trying to find a home; curious investors, newly formed families and large companies seeking new headquarters, are all giving distressed properties a chance.

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Statewide Crackdown Requires NY Homeowners to Reapply for STAR Real Estate Tax Relief

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As a result of a statewide crack-down of abuse, if you currently receive the Basic STAR Exemption, you will need to reapply for the exemption by December 31, 2013 to continue receiving the tax break. An audit conducted in 2010 and 2011 revealed that many homeowners were abusing the program through misrepresentations on STAR applications, often seeking exemptions on multiple properties both in and out of New York State. 

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