Lupinacci, Suffolk Supervisors Urge Bellone to Waive Property Tax Payment Late Fees
Update 3:34pm Conference call with County Executive Bellone, Bellone stated “that there will be an update on this issue in a few days. And there should be some help.”
Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci signed onto a joint letter sent May 19, 2020 by the Suffolk County Supervisors Association requesting Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone waive property tax payment late fees and interest for residents who can prove financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic in light of Nassau County taking the same.
Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci stated: “This is the third official request we have made to the county over the past two months and we are hopeful that in light of Nassau County’s bipartisan decision last night to waive late fees for their affected residents, Suffolk’s leaders will recognize our people share the same hardships and do the same.”
Many residents have inquired with the Town about a possible extension to the property tax payment deadline. The Town of Huntington cannot take this matter into its own hands without intervention by New York State and Suffolk County.
On March 26, 2020, Supervisor Lupinacci requested, along with the Suffolk County Supervisors Association, an extension of the tax payment deadline from Governor Andrew Cuomo and County Executive Steve Bellone.
On April 10, 2020, Supervisor Lupinacci sent a second letter to County Executive Steve Bellone with his Town of Huntington colleagues following up on the initial request.
As of May 19, 2020 the only response received by the Town of Huntington to its request to extend the tax payment deadline was a directive from Suffolk County to refer residents with questions regarding the deadline to the County’s 311 hotline.
The Suffolk County Supervisors Association letter dated May 18, 2020 reads:
“County Executive Bellone,
“As we quickly approach the second-half property tax payment deadline of May 31, 2020, we once again ask you to waive late payment fees and interest for residents who pay their taxes before August 1, 2020 and can prove financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak (unemployment, loss of revenue, death in the family, hospitalization). It is the government’s responsibility to help those in our communities who need it the most in times of crisis.
“Our respective offices, Tax Receivers’ offices and social media pages have been inundated with messages from residents who are experiencing some of the toughest financial times of their lives asking us for help. Given the fact that the federal, state and even our neighboring county’s governments have found solutions to this issue, our residents’ frustrations are valid.
“We supported your petition to the federal government to change its requirements to apply for the Municipal Liquidity Facility in our letter to Secretary Steve Mnuchin on April 22, 2020, which was successful. While we were led to believe that the MLF was the key to providing our residents some relief on tax payments, nearly a month later (and about two weeks until the deadline) we still have no actual update or information to give them.
“We want you to be aware that we stand ready to assist you any way we can. We are more than willing to turn over our books on June 1, 2020 so Comptroller John Kennedy can assess how many payments are actually still owed. From there, we are all willing to continue to collect tax payments on a local level between June 2, 2020 and August 1, 2020 due to our already established payment methods that allow social distance, in an effort to keep things simple for our residents and avoid County staff being overwhelmed with in-person payments.
“We look forward to working with you and Comptroller Kennedy to find a much-needed solution for our taxpayers.”
Full Letter: http://www.huntingtonny.gov/filestorage/13755/112252/Letter_-_Property_Tax_Payments_Update_FINAL_May_19.pdf