Extension of Real Property Tax Payment Deadline for Furloughed / Non-Pay Federal Workers

On February 1, 2019 Governor Cuomo signed legislation authorizing local governments to extend real property tax payment deadlines for federal employees that were impacted by the federal shutdown.  Specifically, local governments that collect real property tax payments may opt in via board resolution to extend the interest-free period for all real property tax payments that became due during the federal shutdown. 

  • Only the collecting entity has to opt in to this legislation.  That is, if the town collects town and county taxes, the town opting in would extend the deadline for town and county taxes – not just town taxes.  If the town collects for a school district and opts in, the school district penalty-free period is extended as well.
  • This legislation is optional; the town is not required to opt in to the extension.
  • The collecting entity does not have to opt in by the last day to pay penalty free (in fact, this wasn’t possible for some localities, given the date the legislation was signed).  A later opt in is implicitly read into the statute.
  • This legislation applies to any real property taxes that became due during the shutdown – including school district installment payments that were levied in September 2018, as the second installment did not become due until January 31.
  • The furloughed taxpayer  / spouse / domestic partner has 30 days from the last day to pay penalty free to provide the collecting officer with evidence that he or she was furloughed.  Upon receiving that evidence, the deadline to pay penalty free is extended to 90 days from the close of the shutdown.  To date, the shutdown closed temporarily on January 25, rendering the interest free period to expire for such taxpayer on or around April 26, 2019.
  • If a town opts in and extends the deadline, penalties will be imposed on any tax payments that have not been made 90 days from the close of the shutdown.
  • If the collecting officer’s warrant expires with outstanding payments due to the shutdown remain, the collecting officer should proceed as follows: [Note: Special Tax Act Counties may have a different course of action to follow]
    • When making the return of unpaid delinquent taxes to the county, the unpaid taxes attributable to the federal furloughed taxpayers must be listed separately. The taxes on that list will thereafter be payable to the county.
    • When making the return to the county, the amount payable to the town supervisor from the county must be reduced by the amount of outstanding tax payments owed by the federal furloughed taxpayers.
    • Not later than ten days after the 90 day extension period has ended, the county treasurer will pay the town collecting officer the total amount of unpaid taxes attributable to the federal furloughed taxpayers.

 

If you have any questions regarding this legislation, please contact Katie Hodgdon at (518) 465-7933 or khodgdon@nytowns.org