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

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MID-HUDSON – Ulster County
Executive Michael Hein said 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
as a way 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.

“I have 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,” he 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.