“The Senior Citizen Tax Increase Exemption (SCRIE) program protects eligible renters from certain increases imposed by their landlord. In return, the landlord receives a property tax abatement credit equal to the amount of the rent forgiven. Today, Council Committees on Finance and Aging hope to get to the bottom of why the property tax abatement credits were not applied or misapplied to the owner’s July 1st property tax bill.

The Council has received hundreds of calls from distressed seniors fearing eviction in the face of steep rent increases. We’ve also heard from frustrated and confused landlords who received higher than expected property tax bills. In order to avert a mistake of this magnitude again, we must take a closer look at how the City’s Department of Finance executes the SCRIE program.

SCRIE pays rent increases for seniors with limited incomes living in rent- regulated apartments. Last year, 49,691 residents qualified for $125 million in subsidies. The program is vital to the city’s fast growing older population.

We look forward to hearing testimony from Finance Commissioner David Frankel on why this problem occurred, the plans to fix it and how the Department will ensure that this will not happen again.”