The federal tax bill likely to be approved by Congress this month is an offensive mess for many reasons.
Among its many objectionable provisions is a sharp cut in the deduction for state and local taxes, which will have an especially negative impact in suburban areas like Westchester.
If the bill passes, it may be in the financial interest of many homeowners to pre-pay their 2018 property taxes before the end of this year in order to get the maximum possible deduction in 2017, while current law is still in effect.
Everyone’s individual circumstances will vary, so consult your accountant or financial advisor before making any decisions. New Rochelle residents can find additional information, including the specific amount of our 2018 tax bill that can be pre-payed, on the City website at www.newrochelleny.com/tax.
It’s infuriating that such advice is necessary, but given the high financial stakes (thousands of dollars for many homeowners,) the City wants to be sure that our residents understand their options.
Update (12-18-17): There is a new provision in the federal tax legislation which seems to prevent deductions for the pre-payment of 2018 tax obligations, but it is not yet clear whether this provision governs all state and local taxes or just income taxes. Furthermore, because the April 2018 school tax bill applies to the 2017-2018 fiscal year, it may still be possible to obtain a benefit for pre-paying it. The emerging law is a confusing, sloppy mess; nobody seems to have a definitive understanding of its impacts, and more changes are still possible. Here’s the bottom line: the City will continue to accept pre-payments, but you should absolutely consult your accountant or financial advisor before taking any action.