Officials in Hempstead and Oyster Bay advanced measures Tuesday to extend the deadline to pay property taxes for federal workers whose pay was withheld during the recent government shutdown.
The extensions would give furloughed federal workers the option to pay the first half of their general property taxes up to 90 days after the Feb. 11 deadline without penalty, the officials said.
Hempstead Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby introduced an emergency resolution at a town board meeting Tuesday night to grant federal workers who live in the town an extension.
“I represent many federal government workers in my councilmanic district,” Goosby said in a statement. “I am determined to do everything possible to help them recover from the hardships that they have faced as a result of the federal government shutdown.”
The Hempstead Town Board passed the measure in a 6-0 vote Tuesday night. Councilman Bruce Blakeman was absent.
Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino said Tuesday his town board would vote on a similar measure at its Feb. 12 meeting.
“We’re at the ready to help residents affected by the recent government shutdown,” he said. “After spending weeks without pay, quite frankly they need an extra cushion of time to pay their property taxes, to help them with their bills, to help them in making ends meet."
The State Legislature passed a bill last month enabling local municipalities to grant 90-day extensions to pay property taxes for federal workers affected by the shutdown.
There are an estimated 15,000 federal workers on Long Island, Newsday has reported. If they are to take advantage of extensions, Long Island municipalities, including Nassau and Suffolk counties as well as towns, cities and villages, must each pass a resolution to opt in.
Federal employees must show proper documentation and complete an online application to receive the extension in Oyster Bay, Saladino said.
With Rachel Uda