The Town of Stillwater is a Town of the second class. Collecting officers in Towns of thesecond class are known as Tax Collectors. This is an elected position with a two 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 Tax Collector 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.
The Tax Collector collects the General Property Taxes in January. The bills are mailed on or about December 31st. The tax bill covers the period of January 1st – December 31st. Payments can be made January 1-31, without penalty. If they are paid February 1 – 28, there is a 1% penalty and if paid March 1 – 31, there is a 2% penalty. On April 1st, all unpaid tax bills are turned over to the Saratoga County Treasurer for collection.
The General Tax bill contains levies for the Town, County, and special districts. In addition, if school, village taxes, or water bills are unpaid, they will be re-levied on the General Tax Bill. If a previous owner was receiving an exemption, an exemption payback amount may also appear on the bill which covers the time period that the new property owner enjoyed a previous owner’s exemption to which they were not entitled to. Please contact our office if there are any questions regarding the amounts due.
Payments are accepted in person at the Tax Office which is located in Town Hall, 881 Hudson Ave. Payments made in person can be made by cash or check. When paying in cash, exact change protects you and the tax collector. Please do not send cash through the mail. During January payments may also be made at the Stillwater Branch of Ballston Spa National Bank, 248 Hudson Avenue. Payments can also be made by mail. The address is Town of Stillwater Tax Office, P.O. Box 700, Stillwater, NY 12170.
Checks should be made payable to Anne Robyck, Tax Collector.
To assist our elderly and disabled residents, third party notification of tax bills is offered. Property owners who are disabled or 65 years of age or older, and own a one, two, or three family home, may designate an adult consenting third party to receive duplicate copies of tax bills and notices of unpaid taxes. In order to receive this service, one must fill out a third party notification form RP-923, which is available in the Tax Office.
Many residents have their taxes escrowed with lending institutions. It is the lending institution’s responsibility to notify this office to ensure bills are sent to them and not to the property/homeowner for payment. Many banks contract with Tax Service Organizations (TSOs), which are agencies that service escrow accounts for the banks. These organizations provide us with a listing of their customers and their identifying account numbers. The larger organizations do this primarily by computer. In the event that a resident received a bill that should have gone to the bank, it is still the responsibility of the bank to call for that bill. If the bill should have gone to the homeowner, but went to the bank, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to know that taxes are due. Please call our office immediately and we will issue you a duplicate bill. The failure to mail a statement or the failure of the 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). If you should have received a bill, but have not during the first week of January, please contact this office for a duplicate bill.
Frequently Asked Questions
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 the 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 Tax Collector nor any other official has the 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.
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 Unites States Post Office. A postage meter postmark is not a postmark made by the United States Post Office and, therefore, is not within the provisions of Real Property Tax Law §925. Payments cannot be deemed timely because of postage meter postmark date on an envelope containing a tax payment (Op. New York State Comp. 68-626).
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).
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 cannot begin prior to the date of the warrant.
How to Contact the Tax Collector:
January Collection Hours: Monday, Wednesday – Friday 9:00 -3:00
February and March Collection Hours: Monday and Friday 9:00 – 3:00
There are no regular office hours from April – December as this is a part-time position.
All tax questions beyond this point may be directed to the Saratoga County Treasurer: (518) 884-4724.
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 700, Stillwater, NY 12170