Both Houses Pass Jaffee Bill that Would Allow School Districts to Collect Property Taxes, While Saving Taxpayer Dollars

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PRESS RELEASE

Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee (D-Rockland) announced passage of legislation she sponsored that would amend the town law to allow a school district to collect its own taxes instead of the town with proper notice.

“This legislation will allow the school district to determine what method of tax collection is most effective and efficient for the parties involved, most especially our property taxpayers,” Jaffee said. “We anticipate that allowing our school districts to collect their own taxes will save property taxpayers money.”

Jaffee’s bill (A.6823/S.4737), carried by Sen. David Carlucci (D- Rockland/Westchester) in the Senate, states that it will be the duty of the town receiver of taxes to collect school taxes on behalf of the school district unless “the school board advises the town’s receiver of taxes in writing by certified mail, return receipt requested, by no later than February first of each year that the district collects its own taxes.”

“By letting school districts collect taxes on their own, this will save taxpayers on their school tax bills. I am proud to stand with my colleague Assemblymember Jaffee to do all we can to keep more money in the pockets of taxpayers,” said Senator Carlucci.

Under current law, there are multiple methods for collecting school property taxes. However, two of the methods most commonly used are either the town collecting taxes on behalf of the school district or the school district collecting taxes on its own. Section 37 of the current Town Law states that it will be the duty of the town receiver of taxes to collect school taxes unless, “there has been an agreement between the town board and the school board to the contrary.” In other words, a school district may not collect its own taxes unless the town has formally agreed that the school district may do so.

Additionally, Section 37 of the Town Law also states that if a town is collecting taxes for the school district, the town, by resolution, may authorize the receiver of taxes to charge the taxpayer a collection fee of up to one percent of the taxes to be collected during the first thirty dates from the date on the school tax bill. The town, again by resolution, may also authorize the receiver of taxes to charge the taxpayer a fee of up to five percent of the taxes to be collected after the first thirty days have elapsed. Consequently, property taxpayers are often charged an additional fee if the town decides it will collect property taxes for the school district.

The bill, which received the support of the New York State School Boards Association, awaits the Governor’s signature and would be effective immediately.

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