December 27, 2017




Ulster hopes to accept property tax pre-payments; Westchester says it cannot

MID-HUDSON – Ulster County Executive Michael Hein said on Tuesday he will do everything in his power to provide county residents the opportunity to pre-pay their 2018 taxes.

The situation is different in Westchester County where a top official said it is not logistically possible for the county to issue its 2018 tax warrants to localities within the next four days.

Last week the governor declared that counties could accept pre-payment to avoid facing cuts to property owners’ deductions in the new federal tax plan adopted in Washington.

Hein said he is “deeply concerned about the short-sighted and likely harmful tax policy emanating from Washington, DC,” but he said he will do everything in his power to reduce the negative impact on county residents.

“By eliminating the SALT, what you are really doing is creating a double taxation situation and that’s fundamentally flawed,” he said. “And that is coming from somebody who has lowered property taxes below 2010 levels in Ulster County and has done it in a sustainable way so I know how it is done. This is a gimmick.”

Hein directed the Ulster County Commissioner of Finance “to expedite all necessary actions and procedures to eliminate any county impediments to accepting property tax pre-payments, and give the town, city, and village tax collectors the ability to accept those prepayments,” the county exec said.  He urged anyone who believes pre-payment would be beneficial should contact their local tax collecting.

In Westchester, Ned McCormack, the senior advisor to the county executive, said that while the collection of property taxes is the responsibility of local municipalities, “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.”

He said the county can only issue one complete warrant for the more than 259,000 properties in the county. “There is no way to do this responsibly by the end of the year given all of the laws that the county must follow under Westchester’s charter and the U.S. tax code, as well as a host of other variables and unknowns,” McCormack said.


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