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Attention Cortland County Residents and taxpayers looking to take advantage of prepaying 2018 property taxes:
While New York State Executive Order 172 offers property tax payers the opportunity to pre-pay their property tax bill some taxpayers may not be able to take advantage of the initiative
In New York, counties are required under state law to approve tax warrants "on or before December 31" authorizing local tax collectors to accept property taxes for the coming year. Once that warrant is issued, local tax collectors can start the collection process.
Property owners in most cases have from Jan. 1 through Jan. 31 to pay their county and town taxes to avoid paying interest.
While the Cortland County Legislature has approved the tax warrants for the towns, the warrant does not go into effect until December 31st, 2017.
While New York State is encouraging local tax collectors to accept those payments prior to January 1st, those collectors are not required to do so, if local tax collectors do agree to accept payment they cannot issue a receipt for payment until December 31st. All local Tax Collectors must record the date the payment is received (postmarked or drop off payments) prior to the 31st, but must wait to record the actual receipt of payment on or after the 31st. This will require some confusing accounting for most Towns.
Another compounding factor that could preclude some property tax payers from taking advantage of the pre-payment plan is that most schools, villages and cities are on a different fiscal year, which means their budgets won't be approved until after the new federal tax rules take effect.
Another thing to remember: The last day of the year is a Sunday. So the final business day is Friday, Dec. 29th if you're looking to pay in person, or postmarked before December 31st.
Finally, Cortland County Treasurer Ralph Canfield would like to remind all property owners the County does not collect current year taxes, only delinquent payments. Any questions regarding tax collections and pre-payment should be directed to the local tax collectors. If you have not received your 2018 property tax bill you may look it up on-line at www.taxlookup.net for residents in the Towns of Homer, LaPeer, and Virgil you can access your tax bill via the Town websites.
Here is a listing of all tax collectors in Cortland County and how to contact them.