The Greenburgh Town Board voted last week not to reduce or waive penalties for residents who paid their taxes late because they did not receive a tax bill in the mail because of a computer glitch from a vendor the town hired.
The glitch resulted in more than 1,000 taxpayers not receiving their bills. Supervisor Paul Feiner requested the board take action to help residents, but board members differed on whether state law allowed local governments to waive penalties.
Feiner said many taxpayers complained to him about being hit with a five percent penalty.
“I am extremely disappointed in the decision,” Feiner stated. “As a result, those who are late in paying their tax bills will continue to see their penalties increase each month unless the bill is paid in full.”
Feiner noted Town Attorney Timothy Lewis agreed with him the board had the legal right to waive penalties if the waiver was in the best interest of the town, but board members Francis Sheehan, Diana Juettner and Gina Jackson maintained taxpayers were responsible for paying taxes whether they receive bills or not.
Councilman Ken Jones recused himself from voting since he had to pay a late fee himself.
Feiner asked Lewis to investigate whether the town had any legal leg to stand on against the vendor. In the future, Feiner said the town will order signs that will be placed at key locations reminding taxpayers taxes must be paid by the end of September, January and April.
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