A Special Session of the New York State Legislature Is Required
To Editor-at-Large Hezi Aris:
Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has objected to the congressional action that may lead to the elimination of the real estate tax deduction for many New Yorkers whose taxes exceed $10,000 could help many property owners in Westchester save money if he calls a special session of the New York State Legislature quickly and the Legislature authorizes municipalities to accept partial payments of the 2018 municipal, county, fire district and school taxes in 2017, rather than in 2018.
Many of my constituents have contacted me hoping to pre-pay this year some of the property taxes that are expected to be due in 2018. They want to pay the taxes now, before the new federal tax code goes into effect. If they had that ability many taxpayers in wealthier suburban communities could save thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of dollars because of the anticipated new code limiting deductions. Property owners can pay the 2nd half of the school taxes in December because the taxes are due by the end of January but they cannot pre-pay the county and town taxes.
The problem: Section 90 of the Real Property Tax law does not authorize local Tax Collectors to accept tax payments in advance of the tax warrant being issued. And the county/town warrants won’t be finalized before the end of the year. If the NYS Legislature and Governor would amend the law to allow residents of New York State to pay part of next year’s real property taxes before the end of this year many people would be able to avoid the impact of the new property taxes that would go to effect in 2018.
Some cities and municipalities in other counties in New York State will have their town and county warrant done December 31st as they normally collect taxes in January. What that means is that residents in other counties can pay their 2018 tax warrant this year while Westchester can’t, unless New York State does something about this quickly.
Paul Feiner is Greenburgh Town Supervisor