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Long IslandNassau

State grants extra week to pay property taxes

The state extended Wednesday's deadline to file property taxes in the Towns of Hempstead, North Hempstead and Oyster Bay because of the snowstorm, officials said.

After the state Office of Emergency Management declared a state of emergency for Nassau County, Gov. David A. Paterson signed an executive order postponing the deadline to next Wednesday, the governor's spokeswoman said.

Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray and Tax Receiver Donald Clavin had urged Paterson to extend the due date to give taxpayers the chance to pay without penalty after the weather clears. They said a grace period could help hundreds of people, including many seniors, who feared driving on icy roads.

Officials said that taxes on about 48,000 parcels are paid in person, and that senior citizens make up a sizable portion of those taxpayers.

Murray and Clavin said a number of them might risk driving in the unsafe weather to avoid penalties on late taxes. There is a 2 percent penalty for payments made up to a month after the due date, Clavin said.

About 320 people had visited the tax receiver's office on North Franklin Street in Hempstead by late afternoon yesterday, a town spokesman said.

"I am absolutely thrilled that the governor has come around to our way of thinking and has granted our request," Murray said

Suffolk County did not need to request an extension because its property tax deadline is May 31.

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