Friday, May 24th

Village Trustees Take a First Step Toward Offering Relief to Aggrieved Taxpayers

propertytaxWill 216 residents receive refunds of tax penalties and fees they paid when they failed to receive their school tax bills in the mail? On Monday the Scarsdale Board of Trustees took a step to clear the way for the refunds but it will be months before we know if and when the monies will be returned.

As background, in January 2024 it came to light that 216 taxpayers had missed both the first and second installments of their school tax payments, and many claimed that they never received a bill. After an investigation the Village determined that some households had not gotten their bills and put the blame on the U.S Post Office. Even though the onus is on taxpayers to pay their real estate taxes, with or without a paper bill, the Village is looking for a means to forgive and remit fees and penalties to the affected taxpayers. However it’s not so easy as the matter is regulated by NYS law.

Read the Mayor’s February 2024 statement on the issue here:

The Village reached out to State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin who coordinated with State Senator Shelley Mayer to propose resolutions in both houses to permit refunds of penalties due to the failure of the. Post office. Assemblywoman Paulin learned that the Scarsdale Board of Trustees would need to pass a “Home Rule” request to remit the funds as well. They did so at a special meeting on Monday May 6, 2024.

In order for the Village to refund the fees, the resolutions will need to pass in both the NYS Assembly and the NYS Senate before they end their sessions in June. If passed, it will then go to the Governor who will have several months to sign it.

Refunds will not be given to those who made the first payment but failed to make the second, as it’s up to the taxpayer to remember to remit the second installment. Refunds will also not be given to those who were delinquent with school, village or county taxes in 2021, 2022 or 2023.

Though the two-part payment system was intended to ease the burden on taxpayers, it has caused many more late payments resulting in fees and penalties. In February the Mayor said that since the Village adopted the two-part payment process in 2020 the average penalties overall were $1,781,876, up from an average of $496,639 for the fiscal years 2014-15 to 2019-20.

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