• You Can Be in a Hud Indy Ad Too
  • Abbott House

If vendor hired by town did not send out tax bills, should late paying taxpayers be charged a penalty? I don’t think so. Others disagree

• Bookmarks: 150

July 22, 2021

Should the Town Board waive penalties on late tax payments if a taxpayer did not pay the tax bill on time due to a  a vendor’s computer glitch?

The issue came up after many taxpayers complained to town officials that they did not receive the tax bill from the town. We investigated the matter. Our MIS department confirmed that hundreds of taxpayers did not get the tax bill because of a computer glitch caused by the vendor we hired. As a result – late paying taxpayers are being charged a 5% penalty. I don’t think this is fair.

Those who disagree with my views point out  that NYS law states that taxpayers are responsible for payment of bills whether the municipality sent them a bill or not. There is even an opinion of the State Comptroller (67-830) stating that “penalties and interest for late payment of taxes cannot be waived where the initial payment of the taxes were lost in the mail.”  The Town Board and other Town Boards around the area have not waived penalties  in the past. We have waived penalties relating to the development of affordable housing however. And we offered an amnesty before a foreclosure proceeding once.

  • LOOK Cinemas Dobbs Ferry
  • LOOK Cinemas Dobbs Ferry
  • Advertise in The Hudson Independent - Westchester Rivertown's community news

The state law authorizes waivers if it is “in the best interests of the town”.  The Town Attorney has advised the Town Board that the Town Board has “broad discretion so long as reasons for such waiver have been outlined in a Town Board resolution.”

I believe that we should –at the minimum –reduce the penalties to 2% or even waive the penalties because the mistake was made by an agent of the town (a vendor we hired).Those taxpayers who paid the penalty should get a refund.  Many taxpayers rely on receiving bills in the mail each September, January and April tax collection months. They did not receive the bill this time due to our error. Others believe that waiving penalties would set a bad precedent.  A link to the discussion  at Tuesday’s Town Board meeting is below. Your thoughts to are appreciated. 

The Town Board will make a decision on Tuesday, July 28 at our Town Board meeting. Two members of the Town Board were unable to attend last nights meeting so a decision on this matter was not made on Tuesday.

Another suggestion I have —I plan to introduce a resolution asking the Town Board to purchase lawn signs that would be placed at key locations during each tax collection month reminding people to pay their taxes by the end of the month so they can avoid penalties. If reminders are placed around the town (including the villages) fewer people would forget to pay taxes on time.

Town Board discussion 7/20/2021 –


Greenburgh Town Supervisor

Andrea Martone - real estate in Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown and the Rivertowns

‘Mondaire, We Hardly Knew Ye’

By Barrett Seaman— After two years of political wrangling over the disposition of New York State’s political districts, a court-appointed...
Read More

Sleepy Hollow Boards Wrestle With Proposed Zoning Changes

By Barrett Seaman-- When a Sleepy Hollow resident voiced concern that the village’s plan to “repeal and replace” the zoning...
Read More

Local School Budgets Approved Easily

By Rick Pezzullo--- On Tuesday, May 17, voters in local school districts overwhelmingly approved budgets for the 2022-2023 calendar. In...
Read More

Flags Become a Flashpoint in Local Culture Wars

By Barrett Seaman-- Every now and again, tensions rise to the surface between the rivertowns’ uniformed police and firefighters on...
Read More

Pro-Choice Rally Draws 400 to Tarrytown’s Patriots Park

By Barrett Seaman— A line-up of Pro-Choice activists and their political allies stirred a crowd of several hundred sign-bearing residents...
Read More

Local Cars Being Stolen Right Out of Residential Driveways

By Barrett Seaman— Car thieves are back in the rivertowns. Actually, they never really went away, but reports of brazen...
Read More

Retired Teacher to Open Socially Conscious Coffee Shop in SH

By Rick Pezzullo--- For 35 years, Kim Kaczmarek worked as a special education teacher at Sleepy Hollow High School. Now...
Read More

Gullotta House Provides Aid to Westchester Families in Need

The Gullotta House was founded in 2015 for the charitable purpose of helping Westchester families in need, regardless of income. ...
Read More

Sleepy Hollow Student-Athletes Look to the Future

By Tom Pedulla-- To attend Sleepy Hollow’s recent college signing ceremony was to peer into the future. A bright future....
Read More

Mercy College Adjuncts Overwhelmingly Approve New Contract

By Jeff Wilson-- The fight for higher wages for adjunct instructors at Mercy College was finally resolved on Tuesday, May...
Read More
150 recommended
bookmark icon