Watervliet City Schools masthead
Statement on new Executive Order  

Executive order does not allow for prepayment of 2018 school property taxes


A new federal tax bill was signed into law on Dec. 22 that caps the allowable deduction for state and local income, sales and property taxes at $10,000 beginning in 2018.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo subsequently signed an Executive Order designed to help New York taxpayers pre-pay their 2018 property taxes before Dec. 31, 2017 in order to potentially claim the deduction before the new federal tax law goes into effect.

Following a review of the Order, counsel for the Watervliet City School District has advised the following:

Under the current Executive Order, school districts do not have the legal authority to accept pre-payments for the 2018-19 school year. The Executive Order specifically references statutes pertaining to counties (and by extension towns as the county typically collects on behalf of a town), but not school districts.

Additionally, unlike towns and counties who typically issue their tax warrants in December and collect in January, the majority of school districts issue their tax warrants in August and collect in September. School districts have already set their tax warrant and issued their tax bills for the 2017-2018 school year. School district budgets will not be adopted for the 2018-19 school year until May 15, 2018. Under the current law, a school district cannot issue their next school tax warrant until next summer after budgets are approved by voters and the 2018 assessment rolls are finalized.

So, while the governor’s Executive Order may, in some cases, allow residents to prepay their 2018 municipal (e.g., town, county or city) property taxes, there is no legal or practical mechanism for prepayment of school taxes by the Dec. 31 deadline.