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Poloncarz, officials outline steps to allow county and town property tax prepayment

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Wed, Dec 27th 2017 04:35 pm
Change in federal tax law, imminent loss of long-standing deductions spur interest in lessening impacts of recent tax 'reform'
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was joined Wednesday by Comptroller Stefan Mychaljiw, Director of Real Property Tax Services Joseph Maciejewski, Erie County Attorney Michael Siragusa and Director of Budget and Management Robert Keating to discuss Erie County efforts to allow residents to pre-pay 2018 county and town property taxes before Jan. 1. Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order on Friday giving each county the legal authority to permit pre-payment, and personnel from each Erie County office worked throughout the pre-holiday weekend to make it possible locally.
County residents will be able to pay their 2018 county and, depending on the municipality they reside in, town and city property taxes before the end of this year, pursuant to Cuomo's executive order. City of Buffalo property owners only will be able to pre-pay their 2018 county taxes at the Edward A. Rath county office building through Friday, Dec. 29, at 3:30 p.m., or online until Dec. 31 by going to the Department of Real Property Tax Services website and clicking on "Pay Your Taxes." School taxes are not covered and pre-payment does not apply to them.
"I commend the Department of Real Property Tax Services, Director Joe Maciejewski, and all county personnel for the hard work they did over the holiday weekend to even make it possible for Erie County residents to act on pre-payment, despite the challenges and uncertainties it presents for local municipalities," Poloncarz said. "Many towns would not even be beginning to work on 2018 resident taxes for another month, so to be ready to do so today is truly the result of a Herculean holiday effort from county staff.
"We are strongly encouraging individuals interested in pre-payment to first check with their tax preparer to see if it will benefit them, then contact their municipality's town clerk or treasurer in the cities of Lackawanna and Tonawanda to determine the best way to pre-pay. However, be cautioned that there is no guarantee that 2018 taxes pre-paid before the beginning of the 2018 calendar year will be deemed deductible by the IRS for the 2017 tax year. That is something that we do not control, but despite that uncertainty we have moved with speed to set up a system that allows our residents to pre-pay."
Individuals or families who do not itemize their taxes will most likely not have any advantage to pre-payment, and individuals with escrow accounts (such as a mortgage) should talk to their lender before pre-paying. Pre-payment for 2018 taxes for any municipality in Erie County may still be mailed to the appropriate town or city office, but must be postmarked by Dec. 31.

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