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Back to Communications Home

No early school-tax payments

ALBANY, N.Y. (Dec. 27, 2017) -- The City School District of Albany does not have the authority to collect school taxes early under Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s recent emergency executive order.

 

As a result, Albany taxpayers will not be able to pre-pay their 2018-19 school taxes.

 

“The executive order does not address the pre-payment of school taxes or the legal process by which school taxes are levied. As result, the City School District of Albany cannot accept the pre- or partial payment of any taxes for the 2018-2019 school year at this time. The district will follow its standard budgeting and tax levying process from this spring through the fall,” said Albany Superintendent Kaweeda G. Adams.

 

Cuomo signed the executive order on Dec. 22, the same day President Donald Trump signed a massive federal income-tax overhaul. The new federal law includes a $10,000 cap on the allowable deduction for state and local income, sales and property taxes, commonly called “SALT” taxes.

 

Cuomo’s executive order allows New Yorkers to pay their property-tax bills before the federal tax overhaul takes effect on Jan. 1. The order authorizes governments – not school districts – to immediately issue tax warrants for the collection of 2018 property tax payments. Those who pay their taxes early can potentially deduct them under 2017 tax rules.

 

Although some media outlets have reported otherwise, the governor’s executive order does not give small-city school districts like Albany the authority to collect school taxes now. Taxpayers should consult with their own attorneys and/or financial professionals about pre-payment issues.

 

In order to issue school tax bills and collect school taxes, state law requires school districts like Albany to go through a process that starts with taxpayer approval of a budget. Most New York school districts, including Albany, don’t have a budget vote until May. Once the budget is approved, the law directs districts to:

  1. Establish an assessment roll;

  2. Establish an equalization rate;

  3. Adopt a tax roll; and

  4. Adopt and execute a school tax warrant, the final legal piece in the process that allows the school district to collect taxes. In most school districts, Albany included, that tax warrant is not issued until August.

As a point of clarification regarding 2017-2018 school taxes, please note the following:

  • For retirees who pay 2017-18 school taxes in installments into February 2018, they can make payments up to the total amount due for 2017-18 taxes. Payments must be postmarked by December 31, 2017.
  • Those who still owe taxes for 2017-18 school taxes or prior years, still have to work with Albany County. For questions regarding 2017-18 taxes, please contact the tax collections phone line at the Division of Finance at Albany County at (518) 447-7082.
  • Senior citizens who were set up to pay 2017-18 school taxes in installments still continue to make payments to BOCES and the school district still maintains their school tax bills. The payments due for January and February of 2018 could potentially be made in December 2017. If they wish to make these payments earlier, the payments would be sent to BOCES as instructed on their payment coupons. 

“We want to remind you to consult with your own attorney and/or financial professional for advice and guidance about this matter,” Adams said.

           

The mission of the City School District of Albany is to work in partnership with our diverse community to engage every learner in a robust educational program designed to provide the knowledge and skills necessary for success. The district serves nearly 9,700 students in 18 elementary, middle and high schools. In addition to neighborhood schools, the district includes several magnet schools and programs, as well as other innovative academic opportunities for students, including four themed academies at Albany High School.

 
         
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