NJ Gov. Christie orders towns to accept 2018 tax prepayments

JoDee Kelly tax collector in the town of Clay accepts checks from residents who want to prepay their 2018 county and town property taxes and get ahead of changes in the federal tax code

Prepaying next year's taxes before the end of this calendar year would allow taxpayers to claim the deduction on their 2017 tax returns, before a $10,000 limit on the deduction takes effect in 2018.

Orange Tax Collector Scott Randolph said the bill signed by President Donald Trump last week will have a sweeping impact on people's property tax bills beginning next year and in 2019, when next year's federal income taxes are filed.

Tisbury tax collector Jon Snyder: "Oh boy, we have had many, many people call".

"This tax bill has turned things upside down here", said Steven Bellone, county executive of Long Island's Suffolk County. A few days ago, Governor Andrew Cuomo allowed New Yorkers to pay next year's taxes before the end of this year.

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In Tisbury, tax collector Jon Snyser said the phones have been ringing for two straight weeks.

"Realizing the late date presents challenges to implementing a new program, I believe that if this is logistically possible, you could bolster early payment of taxes and lessen the burden on the citizens of this great state", Greenberg wrote. Payments made by mail that are postmarked on or before December 31, 2017 qualify as being prepaid, as well as online payments made by 11:59 p.m. December 31. Other county tax collectors have reported a similar floods of inquiries, too. The third and fourth quarter amounts will not be known until 2018 budgets have been adopted, however, the city will accept payments from those who wish to pay more than the first and second quarter taxes. And Montgomery County has declared that none of its municipalities can accept early tax payments.

One, an increased tax bill for 2018 would likely only occur for taxpayers who itemize their deductions.

The three counties with the highest median tax bills in the country - Nassau County, Rockland County and Westchester County, which are all in NY - have median tax bills exceeding the $10,000 cap, according to the Tax Foundation. Any additional payment received will be refunded, a county press release said.

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Benz pays almost half that amount - $4,775 - on local real estate taxes alone for his Foster Township residence and three adjacent land parcels. Residents should consult their tax professionals.

"This is probably the only piece you can do", he said, noting the Olmsted County office has seen a steady stream of people since last week.

"We plan for the tax payments to come in on a quarterly basis, so this is going to be a lot of money earlier than we planned", she said.

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