The Rhinebeck Central School District Main Office has received inquiries from a number of District taxpayers regarding pre-paying 2018-19 school taxes in advance of 2018 to avoid the implications of the new Federal tax law. The school district has received no information or guidance from New York State government to date regarding the pre-payment of 2018-19 school taxes prior to January 1, 2018. However, the school district has been informed and advised by its legal counsel that Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order No. 172, as written, and regardless of the intent, DOES NOT give school districts the authority to issue tax warrants absent an adopted 2018-19 school budget and that, without the tax warrants, individuals cannot pre-pay taxes.
Upon consultation, the school district has been provided with the following guidance from its legal counsel: “The Executive Order does not suspend any provision of Article 13 of the Real Property Tax Law (RPTL) which governs the collection of property taxes for most school districts. Section 1318, RPTL states that the warrant to collect taxes cannot be approved by a board of education until at least 30 days after the budget vote (in May 2018 or in June if the first vote fails) and the notice of collection cannot be published until the warrant is approved by the Board of Education. Accordingly, the Executive Order does not provide authority for school districts to adopt estimated or partial tax warrants for 2018-19 school taxes, nor to issue tax bills corresponding to those warrants.”
Taxpayers who have not yet paid the second installment of their 2017-18 school tax bill, or who haven’t paid any portion of their 2017-18 school tax bill, may wish to contact the Dutchess County Commissioner of Finance, 22 Market Street, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601, 845-486-2025, to determine what is currently owed for RCSD taxes and to make payment directly to Dutchess County, not the school district.