Memorial Town Hall
Michele Zilgme, The Receiver of Taxes and Assessments, welcomes you to the Colonie Tax Office.
The Tax Office is responsible for the collection of school and property taxes for over 30,000 parcels. In addition, the Tax Office also collects the water bills on behalf of the Town of Colonie Department of Public Works, Division of Latham Water. All powers and duties of this office, as well as collection procedures, are statutory and defined in the New York State Real Property Tax Law, except for water collection, which is defined in Town Law.
The staff and I welcome any inquires pertaining to collection policies as well as general tax information. We offer our assistance to residents, realtors, lending institutions, title companies, and other entities that may require tax information. Upon request, we will be happy to furnish duplicate tax bills and receipts via mail or fax. The tax roll is available on computer, hard copy, and micro fiche for public inspection.
The hours of the Tax Office are Monday - Friday, 8:30am - 4:30pm. The hours of collection are extended to 8:30am - 6:00pm, during the last week of January and September. This affords residents the opportunity to pay tax bills after work hours during the last week of the penalty free collection. For information on dates, please contact the Tax Office.
The Town of Colonie is a Town of the first class. Collecting officers in Towns of the first class are know as Receivers of Taxes and Assessments. This is an elected position with a four year term. Before entering upon the duties of the office, it is required that all tax collecting officers take and subscribe the Constitutional oath of office. In addition, an official undertaking or bond, which guarantees the faithful performance of the office, must be executed and filed in the Town Clerk's Office. Once the Receiver has taken the oath and executed the bond, she becomes the insurer and guarantor of all moneys, securities, books, papers and records that the law provides shall be in her custody.
1) I never received my bill, or received it late, do I still have to pay the penalty?
Yes, the failure to mail a statement or the failure of a property owner to receive a statement will not affect the validity of the taxes or interest prescribed by law (New York State Real Property Tax Law §922). In addition, neither the Receiver of Taxes nor any other official has legal authority to waive statutory penalty charges. These are fixed by the Real Property Tax Law. If they are waived, the collecting officer will be personally responsible. As all records are audited by State examiners, there is absolutely no discretion in this matter. The Constitution and the law of the State mandates the procedure.
2) If I mail my payment on the due date do I have to pay a penalty?
New York State Real Property Tax Law §925, provides as follows: "Payment of taxes by mail, when enclosed in a postpaid wrapper (envelope) properly addressed to the appropriate collecting officer and is deposited in a post office or official depository under the exclusive care and custody of the United States Post Office shall, upon delivery, be deemed to have been made to such officer on the date of the United States Postmark on such wrapper. The provisions of this section shall not apply in the case of postmarks not made by the United States Post Office. A postage meter postmark is not a postmark made by the United States Post Office and, therefore, is not within in the provisions of Real Property Tax Law §925. Payments can not be deemed timely because of a postage meter postmark date on an envelope containing a tax payment (Op. New York State Comp. 69-170).
If taxes are not received until after the due date, they are not paid until after the due date unless they fall squarely within the provisions of section 925 of the Real Property Tax Law, and the penalty must be added and collected. No Town official or employee can waive the penalty (Op. New York State Comp. 68-626).
3) Do you accept payment with credit cards?
in order to accept credit cards, the Town must pass a resolution to
permit tax collecting officers to accept credit cards for payment of
taxes. However, the Town would be charged a fee by the credit card companies
for this service. The credit card companies do not allow those accepting
them (i.e., the Town) to charge the users a fee to offset the cost the
Town has to pay. Therefore, it would be an additional cost to the Town
to provide this service to a limited number of taxpayers. This cost
would have to be distributed to all taxpayers which would not be equitable,
as not all taxpayers would be enjoying this service.
In general, taxes can not be made in installments. This is an option that would have to be adopted first by Albany County, then by the Town of Colonie and School Districts. If it were to be adopted by the school districts, all six school districts within the Town would have to adopt it. However, Senior Citizens who currently enjoy a Senior Citizen's Exemption, Section 467 of the Real Property Tax Law, (not to be confused with the STAR Exemption), can make installment payments on the General Property Tax bill in January. It has to be made in two equal installments, the first not later than February 1 and, provided that the first installment has been paid, the second, with interest as determined pursuant to Section 924-a, shall be paid prior to April 1. Again, this is the only type of installment payment that can be made. It applies only to residents who currently enjoy a Senior Citizen's Exemption and only on the January General Tax bill.
5) Can I pre-pay my taxes?
No, the warrant constitutes the mantle of authority for the collecting officer to receive the taxes. Therefore, the warrant must be regarded as the instrument which empowers the collecting officer to begin the collection. Collection authority can not begin prior to the date of the warrant.
How to Contact the Receiver