A number of homeowners and other property owners filled the offices of area town halls as well as Monroe County's office building on Friday. The rush was on to pre-pay taxes, because the property tax deduction on federal tax forms will be scaled back next year after recent legislation approved in Washington.
By Friday morning in Brighton, long lines wrapped around the giant Christmas tree in the lobby. A clerk off to one side printed bills for taxpayers and on the other side, residents queued up to drop off their checks. Supervisor Bill Moehle says town officials are working hard to make the process easier for taxpayers.
“We have a lockbox that people can drop their tax bills in and checks and a lot of people have used that,” he said. “We’ve had to empty that out already several times this morning.”
Greece, Gates and other towns have also followed suit.
"Receiver-Elect Andrew Conlon has assumed his position early and is being assisted by retired Receiver of Taxes Kathleen Taylor to oversee the operation today,” said Greece Supervisor Bill Reilich. “I am thankful for many members of my staff that we temporarily re-assigned to the effort today to process any Greece Resident wishing to pre-pay their taxes before the close of 2017. We have set up some 'temporary' processing areas in our Service Mall and the crowds are moving along swiftly.”
One taxpayer in Brighton, Mariana Mariane Karpinski , said the whole process is just frustrating.
“The difficult part of the process was the fact that I had to pay it early. I mean, the whole tax law and everything at the last minute and no time for people to figure out what’s going on. It’s just ridiculous.”
Moehle estimates hundreds of people showed up to pay their taxes early and Town Hall will have extended hours. It’ll be open Friday until 6 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monroe County and some other towns also had extended hours.
In any case, Moehle says, as you keep hearing, it's important you consult with your own tax advisor if you are unsure what you want to do.
“I mean we’re seeing a lot of people in but what we've been saying all week to people when they call, talk to your tax advisor. Make sure it makes sense for you to do this.”