Rockland County currently has a law in place that allows a five percent down payment on delinquent taxes and permits individuals to enter into a two-year payment plan. The law is set to expire on Tuesday, Dec. 31st so when legislators met on Thursday, they had to vote on whether to extend the law. If they did not act, then the amount of the down payment would have reverted to the 20 percent required by the state.
“We passed a local law back when the recession hit which required taxpayers or allowed taxpayers to pay a five percent down payment and take out the installment agreement,” County Commissioner of Finance and Budget Director Steven DeGroat told the Budget & Finance Committee members. “This is a renewal of that existing law.”
Under the payment plan, delinquent taxes are paid monthly over the course of two years.
Legislative Vice Chair Alden Wolfe (D-Suffern) suggested extending the local law from one to two years.
“I still think it’s reasonable,” said Wolfe
The 13 legislators present at the special meeting voted in favor of amending the local law, which will be the subject of a public hearing on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013 at 7:05 p.m. According to Wolfe’s amendment, the proposed local law would expire on Dec. 31, 2014 instead of Dec. 31, 2013.
DeGroat said Rockland has several thousand delinquent taxpayers but only a few whose property is as risk of foreclosure because the property taxes have not been paid for three years.
He said although the economy is improving, some people are still having a difficult time financially. For many people the payment plan works, DeGroat explained, because they find it easier to pay in monthly or quarterly installments, rather than one large sum of money. The local law was first passed in 2009.
“It helps people on social security and fixed incomes to make a monthly payment,” he said.