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:
Adopt a tax roll; and
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
“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
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