Lewis County offers early property tax payments to residents

Randolph Lopez
December 28, 2017

Under the GOP's tax plan, which takes effect on Monday, state, local and property tax deductions, will be capped at $10,000.

Married homeowners with children who had been using their mortgage interest and property taxes to best the $12,700 standard deduction may find that itemizing won't be their best deal in 2018 because the new tax law nearly doubles their standard deduction to $24,000 and eliminates personal and dependent exemptions.

"To me it is the worst kind of bureaucracy possible, where multiple people are going to be willing to give you a pile of cash ... and nobody will take it", said Goldstein, a doctor.

In most cases, they're aiming to pay their taxes for both 2017 and 2018 before calendar 2017 comes to a close, since the new cap goes into effect in 2018.

Thus, residents across New Jersey and other states have been flooding their local tax offices this week in an attempt to prepay their 2018 taxes to stave off the impact. NY governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order last week encouraging counties to accelerate the process of preparing local property tax bills so that they can be prepayed. The tax collector's office is fielding thousands of calls from residents.

Since the last two days of the year fall on a weekend, the last day to prepay real estate taxes in person or over the phone is Friday, Dec. 29. Payments are made to local municipal tax collectors.

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Despite the interest, tax experts have not determined that prepayment will benefit all homeowners. The deduction is popular in high-tax states and used by many who itemize taxes in the Philadelphia region.

"If you wish to take advantage of this program and pay your 2018 property taxes before the end of the year, checks must be dated on or before December 31, and envelopes must be postmarked on or before December 31", the release states.

You can also prepay with an e-check online or via mail. Payments should be sent to Department of Finance, Division of Treasury, ATTN: 2018 Prepayment of Taxes, 255 Rockville Pike, Suite L-15, Rockville, MD 20850.

"People fall into different categories", she said, noting a big factor is income. Auburn's 2018 county tax bill is a 1.36-percent increase from 2017.

Arlington County will accept prepayments, but reminds taxpayers it's unclear whether prepayment will be helpful for homeowners. By last week, 6,600 people had done so - more than three times as many as previous year. By Saturday, Fifer said, the city had received more than $1.6 million in prepayments.

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