Confusion reigns as taxpayers seek to prepay

Posted: Updated:
GREENBURGH -

Westchester homeowners packed town halls across the county Tuesday to try and prepay their property taxes before the sweeping Republican tax plan goes into effect, but questions linger about which kinds of property taxes can be paid and what forms are required before municipalities can accept payments.

Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner says his offices were packed with people Tuesday, all of them trying to prepay next year's property taxes by the end of this year. 

If they can afford to do that, they can take advantage of maximum deductions before the new tax plan takes effect -- avoiding the new limit on deductions.
But technicalities may prevent them from prepaying certain taxes.

"School taxes are 60 percent of most people's tax burden, and it doesn't seem like we will be able to accept payment on that," Feiner says.

That's because school budgets haven't been assessed yet.

Furthermore, Feiner says, no one in Westchester will be able to prepay their county taxes either. The county would first need to issue an official waiver.

That means all of the people who came Tuesday will have to come back Wednesday or later this week.

There is also confusion tied to a state executive order regarding tax prepayments.

"Communities all over Westchester are reviewing the executive order differently, and some may be accepting prepayments improperly," Feiner says.  "People think they're going to get a deduction when they're not."

That has Shirley Marinilli of Greenburgh feeling uneasy about the whole thing.

"I'm just annoyed about this entire situation," she says. "The day after my holiday, the day after Christmas, I'm thinking about 2018 in a different way."

No matter where you live, if you want to prepay your 2018 taxes you have until end of the day Friday to do so. Some municipalities, like Greenburgh, accept credit cards. Others do not. Taxpayers are advised to call ahead. 

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