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The taxwoman cometh

COURTESY PHOTO The 2018 tax bills have been sent out.

’Tis the season of giving and receiving.

Just ask Annmarie Seddio, Shelter Island’s receiver of taxes, who mailed out notices December 8 to the 3,280 owners of taxable property on Shelter Island asking — O.K., requiring — that they give.

The combined town, county and school tax warrant this year, or debt owed by local taxpayers, is $21,784,075, or an average tax bill of $6,641. Which leads us to note at the close of 2018, that Ben Franklin’s two unavoidable occurrences in life should be partnered with another truth, that taxes will go up. That inevitability holds true, with the tax bill increasing overall more than $675,843 from 2017’s bill, according to Ms. Seddio.

Rates were up across the board, Ms. Seddio reported, with the general town-wide rate up 5.4 percent over last year; the school tax rose 2.09 percent; and the Fire District tax rate jumped 5.02 percent.

Keyspan Corp. retains the dubious honor of once again owing the most, with a bill of $124,739 on property assessed at $21,033,934. The steepest private tax bill will be sent to William M. Birch of Ram Island, who owes a combined tax amount of $75,009 on property assessed at $12,647,200.

Coming in third this year is Pandion Acquisitions, a limited liability company registered in Manhattan.

Pandion, controlled by Richard Hogan, purchased close to 25 acres of the St. Gabriel’s property in April 2015 and is now developing it into a luxury residential community.

The LLC paid $15.1 million to the Passionists Fathers, a Catholic religious order, which had owned the mainly undeveloped property that fronts on Coecles Harbor for more than a century, and paid no taxes.

Ms. Seddio reported that 90 parcels have been billed at $50 or less, two fewer than last year. Some of these properties are underwater lots or small, private roads or rights-of-way.

As always, the tax receiver said, the first half of the tax bill is due January 10, and the second half is due May 31.

What’s new this year is residents can now pay property taxes online using a credit card.

The announcement of the new policy came earlier this year with an alert for those choosing the credit card option: It could cost a hefty fee since credit card companies typically categorize such payments as cash withdrawals that are calculated at a 2.45 percent charge as soon as the payment is processed.

Ms. Seddio reiterated last week that for the credit card option, the payment must be made online, not at the office of the Receiver of Taxes.

Tax payers can pay bills using an electronic check that’s been available online and that costs a single fee of $1.75. To pay bills using the electronic check, visit the website at egov.basgov.com/shelterisland/.

The top 10 highest tax bills for Shelter Island

KEYSPAN CORP. — $124,739.45

WILLIAM M. BIRCH — $75,009.28

PANDION ACQUISITIONS, LLC — $73,276.85

GARDINER’S BAY COUNTRY CLUB — $70,124.47

AMERICAN DIRECT, LLC — $65,185

ELAINE M. CROCKER — $61,681

10 LARI LANE, LLC — $60,495.18

SETH HARRIS — $9,124,300 $54,115.34

ANIL PRASAD — $53,656

TARLOW 2011 TRUST — $52,102.96

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