Old Westbury considers property tax credit for donations to village

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Old Westbury considers property tax credit for donations to village
Village of Old Westbury Trustee Edward Novick, center, presented the budget before it was unanimously passed Monday. (Photo by Amelia Camurati)

The Village of Old Westbury is considering allowing residents to make charitable donations to the village for a property tax credit, Mayor Fred Carillo said at the Board of Trustees meeting Monday.

Village Attorney Michael Sahn said the state Senate and Assembly recently adopted a law amending a section of the Real Property Tax law, allowing property owners to make contributions to a charitable reserve fund and receive a credit toward their property tax bill.

The law allows for 95 percent of the deduction to be credited, Sahn said, so a resident would need to pay 105 percent of the property tax bill to receive a full credit.

“The village then, in theory, would have the benefit of that extra money for general operating expenses,” Sahn said.

Few North Shore jurisdictions have passed such a measure, including the Village of Kings Point, but many have said they are waiting for the Internal Revenue Service to weigh in on the legality of the state law.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has referred to the amendment as a “SALT workaround,” Sahn said, referring to the federal tax overhaul that limited state and local tax deductions if deductions are itemized.

“The way the law is structured, the village would have to issue disclaimers to residents to make clear that the village is not endorsing this, is not making any representations or bearing any responsibility for the fact that the IRS can later disallow this payment and hence the whole purpose would be defeated,” Sahn said.

The public hearing was continued, as was the potential resolution to create a charitable gifts reserve fund at TD Bank.

In other business, trustees acting as the Board of Assessors authorized a $16,671 refund to the Old Westbury Golf and Country Club for the overpayment of 2017-18 taxes.

Reach reporter Amelia Camurati by email at acamurati@theislandnow.com, by phone at 516-307-1045, ext. 215, or follow her on Twitter @acamurati.

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