Receiver of Taxes sends out bills this week

REPORTER ARCHIVE PHOTO | Property tax bills were posted from Town Hall this week.

One of the two certainties of life has arrived for Island property owners.

The receiver of taxes’ office sent out 3,289 tax bills on Monday. Also going out from the receiver’s office Monday were 620 bills for the holders of escrow accounts.

Taxes went up this year, which should really be the third of what Ben Franklin termed life’s unavoidable events. This year’s Shelter Island tax warrant, or debt owed by taxpayers, comes in at $17,610,709.84, a rise of about $40,000 over last year — translating to an average tax bill of about $5,354.

One of the steepest rises in tax levies this year was 6 percent for the library, coming to a total amount due, for example, of about $78 for a house valued at a $450,000.

The school tax rose about 1.9 percent, which for that $450,000 house meant a bill of about $1,360.

Receiver of Taxes Nancy Kotula reported that the single highest tax bill for a Shelter Island owner is Keyspan, which is being asked to pony up $113,225. The single highest tax bill for a property listed as a single-family residence went out to Eben Ostby for $67,186 for 241.6 acres of property.

Ms. Kotula said her office lists 19 parcels with bills under $10, which are mostly underwater land or small, private roads. There are also 68 parcels on the Island that will be asked to pay under $50, which are small vacant lots or right of ways, for example.

It’s been extra busy at the receiver’s office this month, Ms. Kotula said in an email to the Reporter, since it’s not only time to send out the bills, but her office is working with a new software system.

The previous vendor that worked with Shelter Island prior to her becoming the Receiver of Taxes 14 years ago informed Ms. Kotula this spring that the office would no longer be serviced if it didn’t upgrade to a specialized software. Ms. Kotula said she shopped around and decided on a New Jersey company called BAS.

“Other than the bills going from legal size to regular letter size, taxpayers will not see much change,” Ms. Kotula wrote.