Lori Lear Milne, The Collector of Taxes, welcomes you to the Town of Skaneateles Tax Office.
Deputy Tax Collector, Judy Suhr
2022 Town/County Tax Collection
Collection begins December 29, 2021 - March 31, 2022
12/29/2021 - 1/31/2022 Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9:00 a.m -1:00 p.m
2/1/2022 - 3/31/2022 Monday, Wednesday and Friday 11:00 a.m -1:00 p.m.
Duties of the Office of Collector of Taxes
This Tax Office is responsible for the collection of property taxes. All powers and duties of this office, as well as collection procedures, are statutory and found in the New York State Real Property Tax law.
My deputy, Judith Suhr and I welcome any inquires pertaining to collection policies as well as general tax information. We offer our assistance to residents, realtors, lending institutions, title companies, and other entities that may require tax information. The tax roll is available on line at www.ongov.net for public inspections. Current up to date paid tax information is available at www.ongov.net
The Town of Skaneateles is a Town of the second class. Collecting officers in Town of the second class are known as Collectors of Taxes. This is a four-year elected position. Before entering upon the duties of the office, it is required that all tax collecting officers take and subscribe the Constitutional oath of office. Once the Collector has taken the oath, she becomes the insurer and guarantor of all moneys, securities, papers and records that the law provides shall be in his or her custody.
The Collector of Taxes collects the Town and County Property taxes in January. The bills are mailed in late December. The tax bill covers the period of January 1st- December 31st. Payments can be made upon receipt of bill through January 31st without penalty.
Starting February 1st, there is a 1% penalty; fees for March are 1.5%. If taxes are unpaid as of March 15th, a second notice of taxes due is processed, an additional charge of one dollar ($1.00) will be levied and become a part of the amount due. After March 31, all unpaid taxes are returned to Onondaga County Chief Fiscal Officer, Civic Center 15th Floor, P.O. Box 1004, Syracuse, NY 13201-1004. Fees start at 6% and are increased each month until taxes are paid.
The Property Tax bill contains levies for the Town, County, Fire District, and any special districts. In addition, if school or water bills are unpaid, they will be re-levied on the Property Tax Bill. If a previous owner was receiving an exemption, a payback amount may also appear in the bill which covers the time period that the new property owner enjoyed a previous owner's exemption to which they are not entitled. Please contact this office if there are any questions regarding the amounts due.
To assist our elderly and disabled residents, third party notification of tax bills is offered. Property owners who are disabled or 65 years of age or older, and own a one, two or three family home, may designate an adult consenting third party to receive duplicate copies of tax bills and notices of unpaid taxes. In order to receive this service, one must fill out a third party notification form RP-923, which is available in the Tax Office.
Many residents have their taxes escrowed with lending institutions. The town updates bank codes prior to each billing cycle. It is the lending institution's responsibility to notify the county of any additions or deletions of accounts. Many banks contract with the Tax Service Organizations (TSOs), which are agencies that service escrow accounts for the banks. These organizations provide us with a listing of their customers and their identifying account numbers. The larger organizations do this primarily by computer disc. In the event that a resident received a bill that should have gone to the bank, it is still the responsibility of the bank to call for that bill. If the bill should have gone to the homeowner, but went to the bank, it is the homeowner's responsibility to know that the taxes are due. Please call our office immediately and we will issue you a duplicate bill. The failure to mail a statement or the failure of a property owner to receive a statement will not affect the validity of the taxes or interest prescribed by law. (New York real Property Tax Law 922). If you should have received a bill, but have not during the first week of September and January, please contact this office for a duplicate bill.
Frequently Asked Questions
I never received my bill, or received it late; do I still have to pay the penalty?
Yes, the failure to mail a statement or the failure of the property owner to receive a statement will not affect the validity of the taxes or interest prescribed by law (New York State Real Property Tax Law 922). In addition, neither the Receiver of Taxes nor any other official has legal authority to waive statutory penalty charges. These are fixed by the Real Property Tax Law. If they are waived, the collecting officer will be personally responsible. As all records are audited by State examiners, there is absolutely no discretion in this matter. The Constitution and the law of the State mandate this procedure.
If I mail my payment on the due date do I have to pay a penalty?
New York State Real Property Tax law 925, provides as follows: "Payment of taxes by mail, when enclosed in a postpaid wrapper (envelope) properly addressed to the appropriate collecting officer and is deposited in a post office or official depository under the exclusive care and custody of the United States Post Office shall, upon delivery, be deemed to have been made to such an officer on the date of the United States Postmark on such wrapper. The provisions of this section shall not apply in the case of the postmarks not made by the United States Post Office. A postage meter postmark is not a postmark made by the United States Post Office and, therefore, is not within the provisions of Real Property Tax Law 925. Payments can not be deemed timely because of a postage meter postmark date on an envelope containing a tax payment (Op. New York State Comp. 69-170).
If taxes are not received until after the due date, they are not paid until after the due date unless they fall squarely within the provisions of section 925 of the Real Property Tax Law, and the penalty must be added and collected. No town official or employee can waive the penalty (Op. New York State Comp. 68-626).
Do you accept payment with credit cards?
Yes, the Town Board passed a resolution on February 2009 allowing our Tax office to receive payment by credit card by going to https://onondaga.go2gov.net/faces/search.jsp If you choose to use this method to pay your taxes, there is a site fee. An independent company collects the convenience fee. This service is only available during my warrant dates stated on the Town and County Tax Bill.
Can I pay my taxes in partial payments?
The Town of Skaneateles does accept partial payments. Each partial payment must include the current penalty. Town and County tax can be paid in 4 payments. No partial payment if bill is less than $50.00.
Can I pre-pay my town taxes?
The warrant constitutes the mantle of authority for the collecting officer to receive the taxes. Therefore, the warrant must be regarded as the instrument, which empowers the collecting officer to begin the collection. Collection authority can not begin prior to the date of the warrant. Onondaga County tries to sign in the last week of December to enable property owners the opportunity to pre-pay in current year.