Island Property Owners Join Rush to Prepay Tax Bills

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The Chemung County Treasurer's office is reminding people that you may be able to pay your 2018 property taxes, before 2017 ends.

Many homeowners are rushing to prepay those bills before the new GOP tax law takes effect on January 1, according to The Wall Street Journal, so they can deduct the amount before a new limit takes effect.

But not only taxpayers in coastal states who expect to hit or exceed 2018's $10,000 cap for deducting property and state and local income taxes can benefit by prepaying their house taxes.

Of the roughly 120,000 tax bills the county sends out, only 15 to 20 people prepay for the next year, and those are usually the same 15 to 20 people each year, he said.

Both Montgomery and Bucks Counties have declared that none of their municipalities may accept prepayments, forcing tax collector Barbara Loftus to repeat the same refrain to her hundreds of callers in Warminster.

The county broke its winter recess and called a special session on Tuesday, the day after Christmas, passing a bill 7 to 1 in favor of allowing residents to pre-pay their 2018 tax bills.

Homeowners have been lining up in droves at local tax collection offices, hoping to avoid paying more when the new 2018 federal tax code kicks in.

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If you want to beat the deadline, contact your town tax collector to find out the amount due.

Benz estimated he would save $900 if he could receive credit for paying 2018 county, school and municipal taxes in 2017.

"Everybody is trying to do what they think is the right thing to do", said Sizemore, who made it clear that his department can not offer tax advice. More than 10 percent said they were extremely likely to seek deductions, and more than 15 percent said they were very likely to seek deductions.

Other jurisdictions have accepted property tax prepayments for years, including the District and Alexandria, as well as Fairfax, Loudoun and Arlington counties. Growing up, she says Hastings-On-Hudson was a factory town but wealthy people moved in and now property values - and taxes - have increased.

Editor's note: Tax Watch columnist David McKay Wilson is checking with municipalities in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam about if and how property owners can prepay property taxes. Many local tax receivers here have announced they will accept prepayments on December 29.

Anthony Huber said a phone call prompted his early arrival at the window to pay his 2018 property taxes.

"Tenafly is accepting prepayment", Mayor Peter Ruskin said. Since many taxpayers do not yet know the exact amount of their bill, this will allow for a portion of taxes to be paid early and under the current federal tax law.

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