Why Westchester homeowners won’t be able to pre-pay their 2018 taxes

County executive claims documents can’t be prepared in time

2 Sackett Landing in Rye
2 Sackett Landing in Rye

Homeowners in wealthy enclaves across the country are scrambling to prepay their property taxes before the new tax code takes effect on Jan. 1, but Westchester residents are out of luck.

The outgoing county executive Rob Astorino, a Republican, said Tuesday that his administration won’t be able to prepare tax documents in time. “It is just not possible for the county to issue its 2018 tax warrants to localities within the next four days for a whole host of legal, operational and practical reasons,” Astorino’s adviser Ned McCormack told the New York Post.

The new tax code, which was recently signed into law by President Trump, caps deductions of state and local taxes from the federal bill at $10,000 per year. Westchester residents pay $16,500 in property taxes on average, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.

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Lawmakers banned people from prepaying state and local income taxes, which also fall under the $10,000 cap, but left it up to counties to decide on property taxes. On Friday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order to make it easier to prepay property taxes.

Across the country, residents of expensive zip codes rushed to pay their 2018 property taxes, the Wall Street Journal reported. “It’s been insane here,” James McAuliffe, town treasurer of Milton, Massachusetts, told the Journal. “Thank you, Mr. Trump, for solving my cash-flow issues.”

Connecticut allows prepayment of property taxes, but in New Jersey most communities are not encouraging residents to pay early. The concern, according to New Jersey State League of Municipalities’ Michael Darcy : that the Internal Revenue Service might not allow taxpayers to claim the deduction ahead of time.

“We would even be willing to borrow against a home-equity line of credit in order to prepay,” Leroy Walters a resident of Bethesda, Maryland, told the Journal. [NYP] and [WSJ] Konrad Putzier

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