7 On Your Side: Homeowners say state is giving them rebate runaround

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A chorus of angry homeowners are venting their vitriol at the state of New York, after being promised, but not getting, hundreds or even thousands in a property tax rebate.

The benefit is called the STAR Credit. The state says nearly a quarter of a million checks have already been sent out. But some say they're getting only the rebate runaround.

"I said this is ridiculous," said Kathleen McMullen, a Suffolk homeowner who is fed up and frustrated with the state. "They make me crazy."

New York State owes her more than $2,000 through a property tax exemption called the STAR Credit Program. She and other qualifying homeowners are supposed to get money back on school taxes paid last year.

"January, February, March, April - four months," Kathleen says. That's how long she's been waiting for her check, constantly calling the state for help.

The rebate "used" to come off her property tax bill. But two years ago the state made a change - All new homeowners would have to file and the state would cut them a check.

"I worked many years. If we ran our company like this we'd be dead. I mean this is outrageous," says McMullen.

"I've called the state 20 - 22 times, easy," said homeowner Marilyn Carranto. She and her husband Joe say they're also getting the rebate runaround.

"They don't seem to care," muses Marilyn.

The Carranos just moved to their newly constructed community, where they say all their neighbors got their checks in December.

The Carranos say the state somehow had their wrong address listed. So months ago, they sent in all their closing documents to prove where they lived.

Joe Carrano got a call from the state, "It'll be 2 weeks. Which is what he told me 3 weeks ago," he said.

But we called the state on their behalf. Days after our call - Kathleen had her check, nearly $2400.. And the Carranos were told theirs was cut and about to go out.

"If you didn't get involved they would've done nothing," said Marilyn.

"I'm thrilled and it wouldn't have happened without you," said Kathleen.

The New York Department of Taxation and Finance apologized for what it called a long delay in the issuance of the STAR credit check. Its rep said there had been some discrepancies with homeowners information that delayed the process, adding "we are continually working to improve our processes to best meet the expectations of taxpayers."


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