Erie County is now accepting SALT prepayments

Dec 27, 2017

City of Buffalo residents who want to prepay their 2018 state and local taxes can do so at the Erie County Clerk's Office.

Credit Chris Caya WBFO News

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says residents of other cities and towns should contact their local clerk's office. Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an Executive Order after SALT deductions were capped at $10,000 under the new GOP tax bill that was signed Friday. To possibly get around the cap, Poloncarz says, prepayment is an option.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says there's no rules for prepayment of SALT because it's never been an issue before.
Credit Chris Caya WBFO News

"The governor signed the executive order. We're doing everything possible to ensure that our citizens have the ability to prepay. So if they would like to include it as a deduction in their 2017 taxes they can. But it will then be up to the IRS to determine whether the deduction is valid," Poloncarz said.

Prepayments will be accepted at the Clerk's office until the close of business Friday or if they're postmarked before the end of 2017.  

Poloncarz says it's probably not an option for homeowners who do not itemize their deductions or who have an escrow account for state and local taxes.

The IRS issued guidance that could help homeowners figure out if they can save money by paying next year's local property taxes early.

The IRS said Wednesday that some homeowners who pay real estate taxes early will be able to claim the deduction, but only if the taxes were assessed, billed and paid in 2017. It said people cannot guess at what next year's assessment might be, pay that amount ahead of time and still get the deduction.

Other municipalities also have announced they are accepting pre-payments. For example, in Niagara County, Mayor Paul Dyster said Niagara Falls is accepting prepayments of 2018 city property taxes. He said the Cataract City will accept prepayment representing the total amount owed for both the first and second installment of the 2018 property taxes. Prepayment of only the first installment of City property taxes, paid in full, also will also be accepted.

The Chautauqua County Executive's office issued a similar statement, saying instructions for making pre-payments appear on the Town of Mayville's website.

Williamsville tweeted that since the village fiscal year begins June 1, the governor's executive order cannot apply to residents.