Aaron Elstein: Trump qualified for a tax break for New Yorkers making $500K or less
It’s called the STAR program, which stands for the New York State School Tax Relief Program and has been around since 1997. It offers an approximately $300 annual benefit for those who qualify. Hundreds of thousands of New York homeowners get it.
Here’s where it gets interesting for Trump: To be eligible for STAR, a married couple must have annual income of $500,000 or less. One wouldn’t think a guy as rich as Trump claims to be would qualify, but records filed with the city’s Department of Finance show he received a $302 STAR benefit on his latest property-tax bill for his Trump Tower penthouse on Fifth Avenue.
That means whatever his annual income is, it’s less than $500,000. (The state defines income for STAR purposes as federal adjusted gross income minus the taxable amount of total distributions from annuities or individual retirement accounts.) And Trump would have to have declared his New York apartment as his primary residence and sent the state a copy of his federal income-tax return in order to qualify for the $302 tax break.