Rye City Tax Records Reveal Mayor Doug French Cheating on New York State School Tax Relief Program (STAR)

New investigative efforts by Heal the Harbor have uncovered official NYS tax records indicating that Rye City Mayor Douglas French has apparently been illegally claiming NYS STAR tax relief exemptions on his rental property at 13 Richard Place in Rye. The resulting tax reductions total over $10,000.00.

According to The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance’s website, you must own your home and it must be your “primary residence” in order to qualify for a STAR tax exemption.

Mayor French’s multiyear property tax records on the Rye City website indicate exemptions for the STAR relief program simultaneously on both his 13 Richard Place rental property and his current home located at 46 Meadow Place. According to MLS records and Mr. French’s own public statements, the 13 Richard Place property has been an income producing rental property since December of 1999.

Our ongoing investigation into Mayor French’s local property violations has already uncovered his multi-decade local building and zoning compliance violations. Now we’ve found him apparently cheating the Rye City School District and the rest of Rye’s taxpayers out of thousands of tax dollars over multiple years.

This pattern of conduct supports our thesis as to why Mr. French lied to us about finally cleaning up Hen Island. And here, given the improper benefits Mr. French apparently obtained in plain sight of the Rye City Assessor, we have to wonder if this long-running charade has cravenly emboldened his frequent public praise of that Rye City department as one of Westchester County’s very best.

Our findings here, as always, are based squarely on PUBLIC RECORDS and we believe they indicate a pattern of behavior contrary to the standards of public service, public officials and state law. This new disclosure, coupled with his apparent disregard of local building law and evasion of assessment laws, resulting in the loss to Rye City of substantial “improved property” related taxes and fees, is shocking. Two decades of deceit – that’s quite simply disgusting.


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