If you've been following our updates this week, you know we have been very busy here at 16 Croton. Late Friday, December 22nd, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an Executive Order which permitted municipalities, under a specific set of circumstances, to accept payment for 2018 taxes. I spent several hours over the holiday weekend strategizing with our Town Counsel and some of our key staff in the Town and Village about how we could allow for these partial payments, which is normally never allowed. We were able to issue a warrant for the 2018 Town of Ossining taxes, which we believe will allow for those who paid them in 2017 to deduct them this year (although that is not certain), and residents have been visiting us steadily ever since.
Although the Town cannot assure that the 2018 payments will be declared deductible in 2017 by the IRS, I feel proud that we did everything in our power to give our residents the opportunity to make the most out of a tough situation. A very special thanks goes to our Receiver of Taxes Holly Perlowitz and her staff, who worked many long hours this week (including extended hours yesterday and today!) to give exceptional service to our community. If you did not get a chance to come in but are hoping to get some of your 2018 taxes paid in 2017, you still have a chance to do so. You can pay the second half of your 2017-18 school taxes (Briarcliff or Ossining schools), your Village of Ossining taxes for which you should have received a bill in the last two weeks or so, and your Unincorporated Town and Town General taxes (not including County Taxes—the County Executive chose not to issue a warrant so we are not collecting those.) For the Town taxes, we have not yet issued bills which would normally go out in late March/early April, so we have been collecting the amount paid for on last year’s bill-the amounts that say “Town” next to them. As long as your checks are postmarked by 12/31/17 and we receive them in the Tax Office, we believe they will be deductible. Please make sure to print out and sign the disclosure/disclaimer we posted on Tuesday and include with your Town taxes ( pdf you can find it here (46 KB) ), and make out separate checks for each taxing jurisdiction: Village, Schools, Town, and mail to 16 Croton Ave., Ossining, NY 10562. Once again, no guarantees about what the IRS will do.
I also want to thank First Village Coffee and Xquisite Coffee Plantation for their generosity this week-- when we told them we were expecting a lot of walk-in visitors to pay their taxes, they donated some delicious treats for our residents, and I can tell you, it helped make those lines feel a bit shorter!
Please consider giving them your business when you are looking for a hot cup of joe during this brutally cold weather.
Holly and her staff did an outstanding job of keeping the line moving and serving all of our residents with a smile. We have received many compliments, via phone, email and Facebook, for Holly and the gang-- here is just one of them:
"Holly, just want to compliment you on doing an awesome job over there. Loved meeting you and seeing how organized and efficient your department was. I called you and you had an answer, you were on the ball at getting answers out and keeping the mailing list people up to date on what is going on. I had to try and pay taxes in three different towns today and by far and away your organization was heads and tails above all the rest. I am sure you will be slammed for another day but want you to know I appreciate your hard work."
We also took the opportunity to honor our Employee of the Season for Fall 2017, Jerry Sullivan. Jerry has worked for us in the Assessor's Office since 2012 as a part timer before going full time this year. If you've ever had the chance to meet Jerry or speak with him on the phone, you will agree that he is truly an asset-- his commitment to giving exceptional customer service is just part of his personality, and we are incredibly lucky to have him. Against all odds, Jerry outdid himself this week when he volunteered to help out in the Tax Office by answering questions from residents about their tax bills. As always, Jerry displayed his patience and kindness to a lot of stressed out callers and helped the process go more smoothly. Please join me in thanking Jerry for being such a great team player!
We had some other excitement earlier this week-- after announcing at our Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday, December 19th that we had chosen a new Town Board member, I was honored to appoint Ms. Jackie G. Shaw to the Ossining Town Board for 2018.
Jackie and her husband Richard have lived in the Unincorporated Town for many years, and Jackie has dedicated many years of service as a Town representative to the Recreation Advisory Board. Jackie will serve the first year of the four year term into which Kim Jeffrey had been elected. Ms. Jeffey needed to tender her resignation for the remainder of her current term and opted not to fulfill her next term due to her new job working for the Westchester County DA's Office. We look forward to getting to know Jackie in the months ahead, and I know you will too-- she is a bright light who cares a lot about our community, and we are lucky to have her. Plus, she has a great laugh-- see below.
Jackie will be officially sworn in on Monday, January 1st at Noon along with the rest of the Village, Town and County officials! I hope you will join us!
We are expecting an inch or two of snow in the next few days, so please keep an eye on the skies and be careful in your travels-- the Ossining Farmer's Market will be closed tomorrow due to the extremely cold temperatures predicted for this weekend, so if you do decide to venture out, please bundle up!
The Town Board will not be meeting on Tuesday, January 2nd for our regularly scheduled Work Session, but we will be back for our annual Re-Organizational Meeting on Tuesday, January 9th at the Courthouse.
I want to say thank you to all of you for making this first two year term of mine such a pleasurable and rewarding one. I have enjoyed the opportunity to serve the public and this community and hope to continue to find even more ways to make our Ossining a better place to live, work, play and learn. I look forward to the next two years of partnership with all of you. May 2018 be a healthy, happy and peaceful year for us all.