WARRENSBURG - Warrensburg residents may soon be able to pay their property taxes online using a credit card or electronic funds transfer - a first-ever offering in the region.
Warrensburg Town Clerk Donna Combs said Feb. 11 that these new payment options, likely to be set up soon, reflect the town's efforts at becoming more 'user-friendly' - and they are a first in Warren County history. Traditionally, paying one's town property tax requires either a trip to town hall or mailing out a check.
"This will be a such a huge step forward," Combs said. "On our Web site, users can now look up the amount they have due and whether or not it has been paid."
Now, town residents can view their tax bills - and those of their neighbors - including assessment amount, taxes due, payment history, exemptions granted, and whether or not someone is in arrears. Viewing bills does not require a login or password, and all residents' entire bills are now available online for public inspection.
Area towns offering such a complete disclosure of tax payment information include local towns Lake George, Chestertown, Bolton, Warrensburg, Wilton and Day.
At present, only two other upstate communities, Plattsburgh and Gainsville, however, offer online payment by credit card or electronic transfer of funds, which Combs is now seeking to set up.
Combs said that online payment of fees and fines related to the Warrensburg Town Court may also be included in the pending online payment system.
Individuals interested in viewing tax bills and payment history relating to their property or their neighbors' property, can access the information at http://egov.basny.com
Jim Mathis, former town clerk and tax collector for Lake George, said Monday that while viewing anyone's tax bills online seems like an invasion of privacy, it's actually all public information by state law.
In Lake George, posting the information through the Internet-based service has made local government more efficient by eliminating a dozen or more phone calls per day from Realtors seeking property information, he said.
In other action at their Feb. 10 meeting, the Warrensburg Town Board joined several other local towns in passing a resolution opposing the Lake George Park Commission's proposed stream setback regulations.
The town board also passed a resolution in support of a townwide sewer district expansion. Town officials said they hoped they are well-positioned for federal funding stemming from the Obama stimulus package because the project is 'shovel ready.'