Despite collecting enough petitions to spark a Republican primary for the receiver of taxes position, official objections might hinder Michael Giordano’s candidacy.
According to the Westchester County Board of Elections, BOE, a Harrison resident has made three objections to Giordano’s candidacy for the receiver of taxes position.
The objection contends that Giordano did not state which political party he filed his petitions under and that he is not a resident of the address he lists on the petitions—14 Woodside Ave. in West Harrison. The objection also argues that several petitioners improperly list their address under the town of West Harrison, which does not exist.
West Harrison is a neighborhood located in the northwest section of the town/village of Harrison.
Giordano, who currently works in the Harrison tax receiver’s office, obtained more than the required 285 signatures qualifying him to run in a Republican primary election against Rosa Mastrogiacomo-Luongo, the party’s candidate of choice. In total, Giordano gathered 377 signatures.
The county BOE is yet to make its rendering on Giordano’s petitions, as of press time. And according to Dorothy DiPalo, the BOE Republican deputy commissioner, there is no timeline for when the decision will be made.
Earlier this month, Giordano’s residency was brought into question after the Review discovered that he also owns a home on Blossom Lane in the village of Brewster in Putnam County. On tax forms, he has indicated that his Brewster home is his primary residence.
However, on multiple occasions, Giordano has said that he lives in West Harrison while his wife and children live in his Brewster residence.
“The facts are the facts and that’s where I live,” he told the Review this week. “[Harrison] is where I spend most of my time during the year.”
Giordano’s son recently graduated from Brewster High School in June.
According to information obtained from the town of Patterson in response to a Freedom of Information Law request, Giordano has been receiving a School Tax Relief Exemption, known as the STAR exemption, since 2001.
Multiple-property owners in the state must collect a STAR exemption only on the property they consider their primary residence, defined as the location where they spend the majority of their time, according to the New York state Department of Taxation and Finance.
“One would think someone who works in the tax receiver’s office would know that you can’t file a STAR exemption at an address you claim to not live in,” said Mastrogiacomo-Luongo’s campaign manager and uncle. “You can’t have it both ways. Giordano is committing tax fraud.”
In a previous interview, Giordano said that a state election law only requires that a candidate for elected office have the means to establish a primary in the municipality in which they are seeking office when the term of that position begins.
Giordano is one of four candidates seeking the elected position of receiver of taxes. Maria Mioli Pennella, a registered Republican, is running on the Democratic Party line, and Helen Pesce is looking to run in the general election as an independent candidate.
The receiver of taxes, who is elected to a four-year term, earns an annual salary of $101,050.