|Cabrera at his Kingsbridge Heights apartment in 2009. (File photo)|
The move scored Cabrera a $1,513 tax break via a property tax credit known as School Tax Relief, according to the article, which names three other council members from other boroughs as having done the same.
Although Cabrera himself would not comment about the finding, his office confirmed its accuracy. Cabrera's camp told us the listing of the Westchester property as his primary residence was an "honest oversight" and that Cabrera did not know the tax relief credit would be automatically renewed each year. They said the councilman is in the process of paying the money back and that he does, indeed, live in his Bronx district, as required by law. They couldn't say who lived in the Westchester home.
Legitimate residency was a hot-button issue in 2009 when Cabrera was running for City Council against then-incumbent Maria Baez. His opponents sought to portray him as a Bronx outsider and "Pelham Republican," chastising him for having been formerly registered with the Republican Party.
Though he had lived in Pelham, Cabrera maintained Bronx connections: he founded New Life International Church on Morris Avenue two decades ago, and served for a few years as a member of Community Board 7. He officially moved into his Bronx home, on Sedgwick Avenue near 197th Street, back in July 2008, a few months before he announced his intentions to run for Baez' seat.
During his campaign, Cabrera gave one of our reporters a tour of his home, which appeared legitimately lived-in. At the time, he said that he still owned his home in Westchester and that his daughter and her family lived there.