Clinton County officials urge caution when prepaying property taxes

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Phones have been ringing off the hook at the treasurer’s office in Clinton County since Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order, which allows homeowners to prepay their 2018 property taxes.

“The first question was in reading it, is this mandated or optional,” said Kimberly Davis, county treasurer.

Davis reads it as an “optional” measure to help New Yorkers preserve state and local tax deductions which will be capped at $10,000 starting January 1st.

Davis said, “They are authorizing the county to change their warrant date, which we are doing for our local collectors, but it is not mandated.”

The governor’s order also allows property tax bill to be partially paid. However, Davis is urging caution to all North Country residents, as the IRS hasn’t decided how it will handle prepayments.

“We’re trying not to give people legal advice or accounting advice, we certainly recommend talking to an accountant before they do this,” explained Davis.

This is a one-time only option, Davis says typical warrant dates will be back in place next year and believes taxpayers could also have a hard time making prepayments with such a tight time frame.

Davis said, “A lot of our collectors are part time, so even though this has become available to them they may not be able to get back in their office until January 2nd, so in a sense it’s a moot point.”

If you are able to utilize the prepayment options, Davis said checks must be postmarked before December 31st, “Go into your local post office, have it hand-stamped in front of you to make sure if this process works the way it’s supposed to you’re going to get your deduction.”

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