Friday, August 2


Changes to the STAR Program!

Due to changes in the law, the STAR (School Tax Relief) Program has been modified.  Here are some highlights of the Star Program: If you own your own home, it’s your primary residence, and your income is $500,000 or less, you are eligible for the Basic STAR Program. If your income is greater than $250,000 and less than or equal to $500.000, you will receive a check for the STAR credit instead of a reduction on your school tax bill. If your income is $250,000 or less, and you are currently receiving the STAR exemption (a direct reduction on your school tax bill in the form of a property tax exemption), you can choose to register for the STAR credit to receive a check instead. The STAR exemption program is now closed to new applicants. New applicants can only register for the STAR credit. Homeowners with income greater than $250,000 and less than or equal to $500,000 who currently receive the STAR exemption, need not take any additional action to start receiving the STAR credit in the form of a check. If your income is $250,000 or less and currently receive the STAR exemption but want to receive the STAR credit instead, you to make the switch. The taxing authority is giving homeowners an incentive to switch to the STAR credit.  STAR credits may increase as much as 2% each year, but the value of the STAR exemption savings cannot increase. Enhanced STAR is provided to homeowners age 65 and older for their primary residence if their income is $86,300 or less for the 2019-2020 school year. Enhanced STAR recipients are now required to enroll in the Income Verification Program (IVP).have to register with the NY State Department of Taxation and Finance. Homeowners need not register every year for the STAR Program.  Once registered, they are automatically reviewed for eligibility each year. For more information, please go to:


RISK MANAGEMENT - LEGAL TIP MLSLI Rules Violations – Beware!

There has been an increase in the number of listing agreements that either fail to include commission splits to cooperating brokers or contain different commission splits than indicated on Stratus.  These deficiencies may land you in an Administrative Review for potential MLSLI Rules violations.

MLSLI Rule 601.2 requires that commission splits with cooperating brokers be clearly stated on the listing agreement at the time it is signed by the owner(s).  Rule 301.2 requires Participants to file with the MLS all information accurately.  Rule 501.16 requires the Participant to produce the listing agreement to the MLS for review within 24 hours of such request. 

The above MLSLI Rules taken together could cause an Administrative Review Panel to sanction a Participant for failure to state clearly on the listing agreement the cooperating broker commission split or to state a cooperating broker commission split different from that agreed to by the owner(s) on the listing agreement. 

Sanctions for MLSLI Rules violations range from a letter of warning, to a fine of up to $15,000.00, educational courses, or any combination thereof.  So, guide yourself accordingly!