State Sen. Catharine Young has issued this statement regarding the STAR property tax exemption issue, which was first reported by the Times Union of Albany.
"Even though it has been an intensely busy time in Albany this week because the state budget process is in full swing, I have worked hard to figure out how this mistake happened. I knew without a doubt that we had not claimed a Basic STAR property tax exemption on that property, and wanted to get to the bottom of it.
"I truly appreciate that the assessor John Harkin came forward and verified that my husband and I never filed an application for the exemption and the town erroneously applied it to our property. Mr. Harkin's apology was sincere and he acknowledges that the town made a mistake."
"I immediately filed all of the proper legal documents to correct the situation when I learned what happened. Although we did not apply for the exemption, I felt strongly that the money should be reimbursed right away. The exemption came to about $200 per year, and the full amount has been paid with interest."
"It is a relief that the town was able to trace what happened, and this error has been cleared up."
"There have been many people who have given me warm words of support and encouragement, and I truly appreciate all of their sentiments."
"It always is hard when you are under an unfair attack, especially for something you did not do, but I try to not let it be too much of a distraction. The state budget is due to be completed in less than two weeks, and there is a lot of work to get done."