Think you paid your property taxes?
MONTOUR, TYRONE—Property owners in Montour and parts of Tyrone received past due notices from the Schuyler County Treasurer’s Office saying their town property taxes had not been paid, when in fact most residents had previously paid their taxes.
Peggy Starbuck, Schuyler County treasurer, said just over 1,200 past due notices went out to people in Montour and 100 in Tyrone. Property owners pay taxes to the town, and the town in turn passes on the receipts to the county.
She explained the town of Montour never delivered the receipts before the March 31 deadline. Starbuck said Montour’s property taxes were delivered April 4. Montour Supervisor Dave Scott, in attendance at the Monday, April 11, legislature meeting, explained the town has been told in the past when to submit its tax filings and did not get a call this year. He added it should have raised some red flags that there were over 1,200 delinquent tax payers.
“(The treasurer’s office) could have called,” said Scott.
Concerning Tyrone, Starbuck said the town delivered some paid taxes by March 31, but the past due notices still went out. She estimated 100 such notices went out to residents who had previously paid their taxes to the town on time.
Vicki Flynn, assessor for Tyrone (as well as Orange, Dix and Reading) explained she made two of three deliveries for Tyrone’s tax payments to the county office in January and February. However, Flynn said some people who paid in January ended up getting tax delinquent notices earlier this month.
“People came to me and I told them it was a glitch,” Flynn said.
County Administrator Tim O’Hearn said, “This issue stems from communication, or lack thereof, between the county and the towns.” He added the blame lies on both sides: the county and the towns.
At the Monday legislature meeting, Schuyler County Legislature Chairperson Dennis Fagan called the situation “startling on a management standpoint.” He said two phone calls, to each town, would have prevented the past due notices being mailed.
“It truly is a lack of common sense,” said Fagan.
Starbuck said a property owner can ignore a delinquent notice if they have a receipt or canceled check confirming payment. She also said residents can call either the county or town for more information.
She explained that the county has sent out notices for the towns because most of the municipalities did not have the computer equipment to do it themselves. However, Starbuck said all towns now have the equipment to send out the notices.