On January 25, 2019, Erie County Legislator Lynne Dixon sent a letter to the County Attorney and the Erie County Real Property Department requesting a draft of legislation be submitted to the Legislature that would grant furloughed federal employees in Erie County a temporary extension to pay their 2019 property taxes. This week, the state Legislature passed a bill (A881/S1675) authorizing local governments to extend the deadline for property taxes, with no penalties or interest, for qualifying residents until 90 days after the shutdown ends. The state legislation has not yet been signed by Governor Cuomo, but is expected to be.
Legislator Dixon said, “As we enter the fifth week of the government shutdown, federal employees are unfairly suffering the financial consequences. As long as these men and women continue to go without a paycheck, the county should be ready to offer assistance in any way we can. I am hopeful we can work together to provide some relief for these employees.”
In a press release, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie echoed his support for a property tax extension across the state.
Speaker Heastie said, "The Assembly Majority can't re-open the federal government, but we can do our best to help New York State residents that are impacted by the shutdown. Allowing our federal employees to postpone this payment until after the government re-opens will allow them to focus on the basics like groceries, lifesaving medication and taking care of their families."
Legislator Dixon added, “We need to be prepared if lawmakers in DC are ever able to come together to end this government shutdown. I am requesting the County Attorney work quickly to draft this legislation so that the Erie County Legislature can approve at the earliest opportunity.”
A copy of Legislator Dixon’s letter is here.