Village of Massena sends 285 parcels to County for tax collection
BY JEFF CHUDZINSKI
North Country This Week
MASSENA — The Village of Massena is returning 285 parcels to the St. Lawrence County treasurer so the county can attempt to collect unpaid taxes.
Village tax collections ended on Sept. 30.The announcement came during the village board meeting on Nov. 15 when Village Treasurer Kevin Felt informed the board the village would be returning unpaid taxes in the amount of $590,843.59 to the county.
“The amount of interest and fees owed is $42,104.57. Therefore, we will be receiving a payment of $632,948.16 from the county in February,” Felt said.
Last year 285 parcels were also returned to the county for tax collection, however the total owed was $392,991.58.
According to Felt, the discrepancy in the two amounts stems from the fact that the village was not allowed to recover funds from unpaid water bills.
Total tax collection through Sept. 30 was $6,201,746 for 91.3% of the total amount owed.
Last year saw a total tax collection of 94.1%.
According to Felt, there are some residents who made initial payments but failed to make the second or final payment required.
Copies of unpaid tax rolls are sent to trustees to review, though individuals who made an initial payment and failed to make a second would not appear, Felt said.
Sales tax figures were also released, with the village receiving $653,593 from the county.
That total is for the first quarter this year and constitutes a 7.19% increase, or $43,814, compared to the same period last year.
Felt also informed trustees the village had received pension bills from the state comptroller’s office for the current budget year.
“The amounts due Dec. 15 are $364,963 for the Employees Retirement System, a 24.1% decrease from a year ago, so it’s pretty sizable, and $590,544 for the Police and Fire Retirement System, a 5.2% increase from a year ago,” Felt said.
If the village chose to utilize a prepayment option, which would mean paying the invoices by Dec. 15, the village would save $6,871, according to Felt.
Felt said that payment will be going out in the next couple of weeks.
Officials also agreed to pay off a lease for a fire pumper to save money on the interest.
“The payoff amount is $96,970.95 and would save $1,348.69 in interest compared to paying the remaining two payments over the next two years,” Felt said.
The funds will come from the fund balance and can only be used to pay for debt, officials say.
“If we’re using fund balance anyway to pay for it, why not just pay it off and be done with it and save the interest. We can only use it for debt,” Felt said.