Homeowners crowd town halls to pay property taxes early

(WHAM photo)

Monroe County, N.Y. - The rush is on for hundreds of property owners as they look to prepay their 2018 taxes in hopes of saving some cash.

"Just get a little extra taken off this year, because you won't get it next year," said Jim Barton of Ogden.

At town clerk's offices across Monroe County, big crowds and long lines could be seen. Folks in Greece were taking numbers.

“Never done this before, but there's a long line,” said Michael Ross of Greece, who’s also a financial adviser. “I hope it's worth it."

“They're really organized,” said John Galiotti, a longtime resident of Greece. “They figured it out, and it's really smooth."

“Wasn't too bad,” John Grieco of Greece said. “They were pretty quick. It was about maybe an hour."

The new federal tax plan puts a cap on the deduction for the state and local taxes homeowners pay. Friday is the first day taxpayers could pay those taxes early, postmarked December 29 and 30.

“I'm not sure if it's the right thing to do or not, but there might be some tax benefit in this year's taxes if I do,” said Bob Adams of Ogden. “Since there won't be none next year."

Taxpayers in the Town of Irondequoit also lined up, even if they didn't want to.

“Just didn't want to have to wait in a long line,” said Judy Yaneka of Irondequoit. “But I'm not happy that you have to do this to avoid high taxes."

The Ogden town supervisor assisted homeowners get through lines. The receptionist was slammed with printing bills.

"I want a drink when I get home,” Karen Sheldon said, laughing. “Today started out crazy. It's been crazy the whole morning. But I must tell you, this is the best way to meet the residents of the town and assist them."

Some homeowners called accountants before making the trip.

“I just sent a text out yesterday morning with the question of the day: ‘Should I pay them or shouldn't I?' He said, “Yes, go pay them,'” Barton said. “Called up the rest of the family and got them taken care of."

Others are just hoping it pays off.

"My husband and I decided we have to pay them anyway. And if it's $300-400 worth in savings that we'll get on our taxes, then it was worth it.” Mary Ellen Kaiser of Ogden said. “We've been kind of researching online and thought it was worth taking the chance of paying them a little bit early, just to make sure if that deduction was going to be there that we could take it."

The county extended its hours for city taxpayer to pay their county taxes on Saturday between 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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