By Robert Kimmel –
Property owners in Irvington, Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow may make their coming year’s Town tax payments early, in the few days remaining before the end of 2017. The prepayment applies to all residents of the Towns of Greenburgh and Mt. Pleasant, according to information released by both Towns on this date, Tuesday, December 26. The early payments will be accepted based on an Executive Order signed by Governor Cuomo last Friday allowing prepayment of certain local property taxes.
The Governor’s order applies only to towns, town special districts, and counties, but not to prepayment of village taxes. Village taxes and school taxes make up the predominant amount of local property taxes. School taxes for the 2018-19 school year cannot be prepaid because of School Districts’ tax year budgeting which does not ordinarily take place this early. However, payment of second-half school taxes for the current year, due by January 31st, and already billed, may be paid in December, as has long been the practice.
Governor Cuomo’s action and those of the Towns are in reaction to the new tax legislation passed by Congress, and recently signed by President Trump, which limits federal income tax annual deductions for local taxes to $10,000. While the prepayment for current year taxes may be financially advantageous for many property owners, taxpayers are advised to check with their accountants or tax professionals to determine whether it is useful for them.
“The Town Board will definitely authorize the pre-payment of the town and fire portion of the 2018 taxes starting noon tomorrow,” Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner stated today. “We approved the 2018 budget and are complying with the requirement that a warrant be filed.” His comments followed a meeting with the Town Board and New York State officials. The amount payable would be that which is due through December 31, 2018.
“While counties are specifically authorized in the Governor’s Executive Order to allow pre-payment of taxes and the county has adopted a budget for next year, the Executive Order makes clear that the town may not collect county taxes, or any other taxes, without warrant, ” Feiner added. He said had reached out to the County with the hope the County will issue a warrant.
“We are accepting early payments for the 2018 Town tax bill and Town Special Districts based on what you paid for Town and Town Special District taxes in the 2017 collection,” was stated in the announcement from the Town of Mt. Pleasant. It went on to note, “Taxes due for 2018 based on actual tax rates, (not currently available), will be reduced by a credit amount for the payments received under this executive order.”
In an earlier statement, Mt. Pleasant Town Supervisor Carl Fulganzi said, “These will be credited against taxes ordinarily due on April 30, 2018…….Under the Executive Order, these taxes may be paid and accepted in person at Town Hall until the close of business (4:30 p.m.) on Friday, December 29, 2017 or by mail (payments to be sent to the Tax Receiver) provided they are postmarked as of December 31, 2017. ”
”Currently we cannot accept payments of any County Taxes as we have received no information from the County regarding collection,” Mt. Pleasant concluded.
Westchester County has stepped away from the prepayment pursuit dashing any hopes that it will participate. “It is just not possible for the county to issue its 2018 tax warrants to localities within the next four days for a whole host of legal, operational and practical reasons,” stated Ned McCormack, Senior Advisor to County Executive Astorino. He explained, “In Westchester, the collection of property taxes is the responsibility of local municipalities. A number of municipalities are saying people can pre-pay their 2018 property taxes based on their 2017 bills and reconcile any discrepancies next year. Although this may be an option for some people, ultimately, the question of deductibility will be decided by the IRS.”