The landlord of City Councilmember Corey Johnson received an illegal tax break on a Chelsea apartment he owned while the politician was living there.
Landlord Alan Gomez owned the apartment in Chelsea from 2007 to 2014, and Johnson started living there in 2009 and continued to do so after Gomez, who is also his friend, sold it, according to the Daily News.
Gomez benefitted from a tax break called the STAR credit while Johnson lived there, a state tax exemption for New Yorkers to use on their primary residences. The break saved Gomez about $1,600 overall in property taxes on the place.
Homeowners can face penalties of up to $2,500 and have to repay the benefit with interest if they lie on their STAR applications.
Johnson, who was previously accused of using campaign funds for rent and a staffer’s colonoscopy, easily won reelection this year and is considered a contender for City Council speaker. His campaign spokesman Austin Shafran told the News that Johnson was “completely unaware that his landlord had applied for a tax rebate of any kind.” [NYDN] – Eddie Small