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Prepay Your 2018 Property Taxes? Localities Differ On Approach.

Geoff Mulvihill
Residents prepay part of their 2018 property tax bill in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, last Thursday. People across the country have been trying to prepay property taxes before a federal tax overhaul kicks in and caps deductions for state and local taxes.

Suffolk County says it will provide clerical employees to town Tax Receiver offices in response to the surge of residents trying to pre-pay their 2018 property taxes.

The new federal tax law limits the deduction on state and local property and income taxes to $10,000. But residents who partially or fully pre-pay their 2018 property taxes by the end of the year will still be able to claim their deductions.

Suffolk Deputy County Executive Jon Kaiman says residents are trying to get ahead of the tax code changes.

“The impact is becoming quite clear to a lot of folks in Long Island. That can cost people thousands upon thousands of dollars in hard currency if they don’t get that deduction.”

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone says the clerical assistance will be provided on an as needed basis at no cost to towns. Some offices have extended hours in response to the higher traffic.

Meanwhile, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy does not plan to sign an executive order to allow pre-payments of local property taxes.

Malloy's budget director told municipal leaders on Wednesday that it's impractical for Connecticut's governor to require municipalities to accept pre-payments because communities have not yet set tax rates for the new fiscal year, which begins July 1. Also, he says property tax collection is a local matter.

New York and New Jersey's governors signed orders allowing taxpayers to pre-pay local taxes before a $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions goes into effect next year.

Some Connecticut communities, such as New Canaan, are accepting early payments of real estate and motor vehicle taxes due January 1.

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