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homeprices(December 24, 2017) The Village will not accept prepayment of 2018 property taxes - see above

With the new tax bill set to pass both the House of Representatives and Senate this week, many in Scarsdale are scrambling to do whatever they can to shelter themselves from an onerous new provision in the bill that prevents the deduction of state, local and more than $10,000 in real estate taxes. With the average Scarsdale homeowner paying $30,000 a year in real estate taxes, many wondered if they could pay their 2018 property taxes early and deduct them from their 2017 tax return.

According the New York Times, prepayment of real estate taxes is permitted in some municipalities in New York State. The article says, "While the writers of the final bill had the opportunity to prohibit prepayment of local property taxes, they did not do so. So if you can save money on your taxes overall by paying your property taxes this year, when the $10,000 cap is not yet in effect, you should seriously consider it. But before you start lining the money up, check with your local taxing authority about whether it allows prepayment — and how much you can actually pay in advance. There are different rules in different jurisdictions."

Many called Scarsdale Village Hall to find out how to make their payments, but have been distressed to learn that Scarsdale will only return your check. Why?

Village Treasurer Mary Lou McClure says, "We cannot accept checks without an adopted budget, the related tax warrant and a tax roll. If someone were to send a check to the Village, we would need to return it to the maker of the check without cashing it because we have nowhere to apply the payment. We cannot accept deposits against a future receivable. Other communities may have fiscal years beginning January 1 and/or have the second half school tax due in January. In both cases, a budget, warrant, and tax roll would have been delivered to the tax collecting officer. Generally those communities are cities and towns which have different fiscal years than a village. The Village has researched the warrant issues and consulted with, among other parties, the New York state Comptroller's Office, NYCOM, the NYS GFOA, the County Finance Commissioner, the County Tax Commissioner and other legal sources." Read a full explanation from the Village here.

Commenting on the policy, one reader wrote, "Well, I just found out that Scarsdale is not willing to accept prepayment! I am outraged as I would think many will be."

Another said, "Having spoken to my tax advisor, it appears that if I proactively sent Scarsdale a check (say for 90% of last years taxes), there is actually nothing in law that would specifically prohibit Scarsdale from cashing that check. Scarsdale's systems might not be able to handle that, but this could easily be solved, for example, by recording my payment in a spreadsheet. I am hoping someone can be very specific about why Scarsdale could not legally cash a check that I proactively sent to it."

Other readers noted that the Town of Southampton, which is the taxing authority for many villages on the East End of Long Island, is accepting the earlier payments. In fact, they normally bill for the following year in December and require payment by January 31, 2018. Readers say that these prepayments will be deductible from their 2017 return.

The New York Times estimates that Westchester County residents are among 12 national counties that take the highest SALT deductions, with 47% of residents taking an average deduction of $34,300. With the loss of SALT and the deduction of a good portion of real estate taxes, many Scarsdale residents will clearly be worse off in 2018 than they were this year.

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advocatephoto(This is sponsored content from Advocate Brokerage of Scarsdale)
Another year is coming to an end and as your thoughts shift toward celebrating the holidays, winding down the year and making plans for 2018 to be a year filled with success, we wanted to share this:

The more your insurance agent knows about their clients, the better they can serve you.

The reason – aside from getting to know some really great people – is that the more we know about your life and the things you value most, the more we are able to educate you on the best choice for your insurance portfolio.

We love to take the time to educate each client we serve but we need to know about some of the new and exciting things happening in your life. For example...are you traveling more frequently? Did you get married this year? Have a baby? If you are already parents, has your child gotten their driver's license or gone off to college? Are you ready to up or downsize your home? Did you move? Have you purchased any fun toys such as a boat or snowmobile? Did your business grow?

So give us a hand and let us know about the events that occurred during 2017. Some could have an effect on your insurance. Below is a list of questions related to your home, auto and business insurance that are designed to start a conversation. If after reading them you feel prompted, please, give us a call.

If you own a car, tell us about any changes to the cars or drivers in your home. If you purchased a new vehicle, got in an accident or added a driver to your policy, you have already notified us and we have worked out the details. There are however other factors that can affect your automobile policy such as:

• A teenager is coming of age and learning to drive for the first time.
• Your teen driver has a GPA of 3.0 or above.
• A child who now owns their own vehicle and purchased their own insurance policy.
• A child who went away to college.
• You sold an automobile to a family member.
• Someone in your family took a defensive driving course.

If you own a home, tell us about any changes to your home (or homes). Even if the changes seem minor to you, they can still have an effect on your homeowners policy. Here is a list of questions to get you thinking:

• Is someone in your home traveling more frequently?
• Did you add a Central Station Fire/Burglar Alarm?
• What about a Whole House Water Leak Detection System?
• Has your property value increased or decreased dramatically?
• Have you done any home renovations?
• Did you add pieces to your jewelry, art or wine collections?

Advocate Brokerage Pro Tip:

If your 2018 plans include the purchase or renovation of a residence, get us involved during the planning stages. We have extensive experience with the things that can go wrong. Often, they are things that would never occur to you. Tragedies such as a total house fire or water leak that causes major damage can be prevented with a bit of planning. For this reason it might be a good idea to get us involved early and take the necessary steps to protect your investment.

If you own a business, tell us about the ways your business has expanded, grown or changed. Advocate wants to help our commercial customers understand their risks and do what we can to protect the business they have worked hard to build. Please reach out to us if any of the following things have taken place in 2017:

• You've had a successful year and significant increases in sales and income.
• Your business has expanded or added a new location.
• You've done renovations to your property.
• You have purchased new equipment.
• You have hired new employees.
• You have experienced a data breach, have any reason to believe a cyber breach is possible or you have not yet discussed the potential of cyber risks in your business with an Insurance Specialist.

Remember that the more we know the better service we are able to provide. If you are new to Advocate Brokerage or if you do not currently do any business with us, let the Insurance Specialists at Advocate Brokerage do a no obligation review of your insurance....the results may surprise you.

On behalf of the entire staff at Advocate Brokerage, we hope you enjoy a very happy and healthy holiday season and we send best wishes for a successful 2018.

Advocate Brokerage Corp, 820 Scarsdale Avenue, Scarsdadle. Call us at (914) 723-7100, email us at, or visit


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HandsUpThe SBNC Administrative Committee announces the slate of 2018 candidates for the School Board Nominating Committee (SBNC). We are seeking the election of 2 candidates in each district, with the exception of Quaker Ridge, where we are seeking the election of 3 candidates to include the replacement of a SBNC member who has recently resigned. The candidates in each of the five elementary school districts are:

1. Edgewood – David Benderson, Ruth Berkowitz, Laura Cromwell, Timothy Dunne

2. Fox Meadow – Diane Greenwald, Tao (Jennifer) Hong, Dina Rabin

3. Greenacres – Kathleen Gray, Marylou Cooper Green

4. Heathcote – Kerry Hayes, Jing Li, Curtis Parker

5. Quaker Ridge – Nikki Hahn, Marisa Jackson, Stacey Kaufman, Robert Tepper

The SBNC election will be held on Tuesday, January 9, 2018. Residents may vote in person in the Auditorium Lobby at the Scarsdale Middle School on that date from 7:00 to 10:00 AM and from 2:00 to 9:00 PM, or by mail-in ballot received by 4:00 PM on Election Day. In the event of a snow day, the election will be held on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

All election information is available at Brochures containing biographical information on each candidate and instructions for completing and returning mail-in ballots will be mailed to Scarsdale school district residents and are also available on the website. Contributions to support the cost of printing and mailing the election brochure are gratefully appreciated; please visit

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CNCGraphicThe Citizens Nominating Committee ("CNC") is currently searching for potential candidates to run for three opening Village Trustee positions. Names of potential candidates should be submitted to the CNC by Friday, January 5, 2018. The General Village Election is on Tuesday, March 20, 2018.

According to ML Perlman, Chair of CNC (a non-voting position) "The CNC conducts a confidential and non-issue based review of potential candidates for office. The cornerstone tenet of Scarsdale's hundred-year nonpartisan tradition is that a candidate's general abilities and character - not their personal position on any Village issue – are held paramount to all other considerations. The objective is to find the best possible individuals to serve the Village no matter what issues the future may bring."

The CNC is a group of 30 elected representatives (6 from each neighborhood) tasked with reaching-out within our Village community to encourage residents who are ready, willing, and able to volunteer their service as one of three new Trustees.

CNC representatives are available to answer questions and help candidates through the non-partisan process, which involves the completion of a biographical sketch and a brief presentation. The names of those who come before the CNC are kept confidential to encourage as many qualified individuals as possible to come forward.

If you (or anyone you know) would make a great Village Trustee, please contact any member of the CNC listed on the following page. Candidates must be U.S. citizens over the age of 18 and residents of the Village of Scarsdale.

Information about the Citizens Nominating Committee can be found on the web site of the Scarsdale Procedure Committee

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TylerSickGreenburg Police report the arrest of a 29 year-old NYC schoolteacher who also worked as an assistant coach at Edgemont High School. Tyler F. Sick of Tarrytown was arrested on Monday November 27 after an alleged complaint of illegal sexual contact between himself and a minor.

The investigation was done by Special Victims Unit detectives who were assisted by the Special Prosecutions Division of the Office of The Westchester County District Attorney, The Westchester County Children's Advocacy Center, and the Village of Tarrytown Police.

Any students that may have had inappropriate contact with the above individual are asked to contact Det. Nick Parikka of the Greenburgh Police Department Special Victims Unit at 914-989- 1736.

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