County Says “NOT POSSIBLE” TO HAVE 2018 Tax Warrants Out IN NEXT 4 DAYS

BULLETIN

WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. Statement from Ned McCormack, Senior Advisor to the County Executive. 3:45 P.M.E.ST.: 

 “In Westchester, the collection of property taxes is the responsibility of local municipalities.  A number of municipalities are saying people can pre-pay their 2018 property taxes based on their 2017 bills and reconcile any discrepancies next year.  Although this may be an option for some people, ultimately, the question of deductibility will be decided by the IRS.

 Westchester County has looked into the feasibility of having residents pre-pay their county taxes.  It is just not possible for the county to issue its 2018 tax warrants to localities within the next four days for a whole host of legal, operational and practical reasons. 

By law, the county can only issue one complete warrant for the 259,034 properties across all of Westchester’s localities and special districts. 

There is no way to do this responsibly by the end of the year given all of the laws that the county must follow under Westchester’s charter and the U.S. tax code, as well as a host of other variables and unknowns.”

 

 

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City Issues Status of Paying 2017-18 Taxes Prior to End of Year–No Warrant from County Yet for 2018

WPCNR QUILL AND EYESHADE. From the City of White Plains. December 26, 2017:

Property tax bills for the 2nd half 2017-18 city and school district taxes have already been issued and residents can pay those bills now.  Payments are due on January 31, 2018, however, residents may pay any time in advance of the due date. Payments may be made in person at the Finance window in City Hall, by mail, or online.

The City has not yet received the tax warrant from the County for 2018 County property taxes. According to the Governor’s Executive Order, if the City of White Plains receives the County warrant before December 29th, residents may pay their 2018 estimated County tax bill in 2017. Payments may be made in person at the Finance window in City Hall. Without the warrant, however, the City has no authority to accept payment for 2018 County property taxes.

The City of White Plains makes no representation regarding the impact of payment in December on federal tax liability. Property owners are advised to contact their tax advisors or the IRS in regard to whether early payment may be deducted on their federal tax returns.

 

Please continue to check the City website for updates.

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An album of Christmas Past

WPCNR ROVING PHOTOGRAPHER. An Album of Christmas Past: 

These photographs of Christmas night and Christmas Days of the Past feature  some of the festive lights of the city, an American parlor, a typical family dinner setting, complete with kids’ table, and a Christmas Hearth.

SANTA’S WORKSHOP and Reindeer, White Plains. Photo by The WPCNR Roving Photographer.

A Holiday Parlor. Photo by the WPCNR Roving Photographer.

A Holiday Hearth. Photo by the WPCNR Roving Photographer.

A HOLIDAY TABLE, Complete with “Kids’ Table” Photo by the WPCNR Roving Photographer

Christmas Morning, 2005. Photo by the WPCNR Roving Photographer

The Yule Log from White Plains Bake Shoppe. Photo, WPCNR Roving Photographer.

Christmas Treats. Photo by WPCNR Roving Photographer.

Kitten’s First Christmas. Bela The Christmas Kitten. Photo, WPCNR Roving Photographer.

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The Bells Are Ringing for the Hunchback of Notre Dame!

bells

“Bravos” for  Bobby Cassell’s  Quasimodo! He Brings Audience to its feet!

esmeralda

 

Jenna Dallaco’s Esmeralda a Beauty for the Ages and Heaven as WPPAC Mounts  “Spectacula” Show. Not a broken heart in the house.

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WPCNR STAGE DOOR. First Rushes Theatrical Review by John F. Bailey.  Opening Night December 23, 2017:

If any time you needed an underdog to root for and inspire you it is now.

Bobby Cassell is that underdog—the WPPAC roared at his blockbuster solo before swinging into the square like Tarzan to rescue Esmeralda in the emotion-wrenching, heart-pounding climax of this over the top show.

The audience rose as tall as they could when the company of The Hunchback of Notre Dame joined in  their  Finale Ultimo. The gentleman next to me to leapt to his feet, then another, and another, clusters, in a wave of a thundering standing ovation for the performance they had just seen at the White Plains Performing Arts Center Opening Night last night.

This is a must-see show. It is seamless!

stage

In a relentlessly escalating intensity of a production of this ages old story of Quasimodo, the hunchback befriended by the gypsy Esmeralda in 16th Century Paris, WPPAC has mounted a seamless message of the rewards of doing good and rising to the occasion when action is needed. Christopher  and Justin Swader the scenic designers have created the most detailed and haunting set every a Gothic masterpiece of Our Lady of Notre Dame, with massive bells that Mr. Cassell rings with such joy, he even has names for them. The lighting designer Jamie Roderick uses a gazillion spots to create the doorway to Heaven and portray the back streets of Paris at night.

Choreographer Lexie Frare sets Ms. Dallacco’s Esmerala’s dancing feet and slender hips swaying making Ms. Dallacco’s Rhythm of the Tambourine dance on All Fool’s Day just the thing that sets the deliciously evil James Zannelli into sanctimonious hatred of the gypsys.Zanneli  steals the show with his lurking booming cleric’s pomposity and hypocrisy as Dom Claude Frollo.

Zannelli’s character Frollo raised Quasimodo  in the cathedral, never letting him out because of Quasimodo’s deformity.  Frollo hates the gypsies because they lured away his brother who had a child, Quasimodo with a gypsy women. This show is about the destruction of hate and the redemption of the good.

Cassell as Quasimodo is on target portraying a disabled person very realistically, and showing the feelings that every disable person feels which those of us not sensitive to them do not realize. Quasimodo’s existence is made palatable because he talks to the gargoyle statues in the cathedral, who come magically to live.

The gargoyles  have  a great moment in Act Two singing to Quasimodo  that he “is better than this,” trying to get him to intercede and rescue Esmeralda. Cassell answers them in the powerful song Made of Stone

Esmerald befriends Quasimodo when the gypsies mock him as the King of Fools and beat him. She takes pity on him…and takes him into the cathedral.

Ms. Dallacco’s Esmeralda is feisty and a good person. But, of course Mr. Zannelli’s Dom Claude Frollo  is furious at Quasimodo because Esmeralda is a gypsy.

Esmeralda meets Captain Phoebus, Matthew Billman, a guard of the cathedral who is smitten with Esmeralda’s independence after going out for Rest and Recreation and meeting the Gypsies. When Phoebus is stabbed by Frollo, and Frollo blames Esmeralda, she brings Phoebus to Quasimodo for help. Twice Esmeralda escaples Frollo’s clutches with a flash of explosives, and Frollo takes her to be a witch.

Phoebus and Esmeralda combine a wonderful song when things are dark for their love. That song is Someday. It is a song that will tear you up.  In a voice as clear as the bells of Notre Dame she and Quasimodo duet on Top of the World  and God Help the Outcasts.

Everybody stands out in this cast—Jarrad Biron Green, who is the leader of the Gypsies. He narrates the action and orients you to a lot of what is happening. A technique now very popular in Broadway musicals.

There is a choir assembled for this show which rachets up the emotional toll of the show. They sound well, spectacular!

Kudos for the softspoken director, Fran Portanova who has crafted a wonder of a show, motivating every actor and technical expert to create this perfect show. It may be his crowning achievement. This is a tough show to do.

But he and WPPAC did it.

THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME plays through January 14. There are matinee performances and evening performances. You can see it today at 2 PM and 7 PM. Go to the WPPAC website www.wppac.com for more information or call the box office at 914-328-1600

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FLASH! Cuomo Issues Executive Order Allowing Prepayment of 2018 Taxes to Prevent NY-ers Being Hit with Loss of Total State and Local Tax Deduction. 9 Days to Pay

WPCNR ALBANY ROUNDS. From the Office of Governor Andrew J. Cuomo. December 22, 2017:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo AT 4:15 pm this afternoon issued an emergency Executive Order to help protect property owners in New York from the devastating impact of the GOP tax bill.

This order authorizes local governments to immediately issue tax warrants for the collection of 2018 property tax payments and allows property owners to pay at least a portion of their bill before the end of the year and under the current tax construct.

The Governor directed the Department of Taxation and Finance to work with local governments to facilitate early tax collection.

The federal tax plan, signed into law today, caps the deductibility of state and local taxes at $10,000, effectively raising property taxes and reducing home values in New York and in states across the country.

“As Washington wages an all-out assault on this state and this nation, I have authorized local governments to allow property owners to pay part or all of their taxes early,” Governor Cuomo said.

“New York has made unprecedented progress reducing the burden of taxes on our middle-class families, and we will not allow this attack to roll back all that we have achieved. This Executive Order will allow property owners to deduct either part or the full amount of their payment from their federal taxes before the GOP tax bill goes into effect.”

Governor Cuomo signed Executive Order #172 today, which includes two actions:

 Authorizes Local Officials to Immediately Levy Taxes

This will allow New Yorkers to pay their property taxes for 2018 in the 2017 calendar year and allow localities to accept advance payment so that property owners can deduct the full amount of their payment at the federal level.

Allows Taxpayers to Make Partial Payments Early

The EO will also suspend local laws limiting the ability of taxpayers to make partial payment of property taxes until the end of the year.

Since many taxpayers do not yet know the exact amount of their bill, this will allow for a portion of taxes to be paid early and under the current federal tax law.

 Each local tax collector is now authorized and directed to accept partial payments of warranted taxes from property owners until the close of business on Friday, December 29, 2017.

Online payments can be made until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, December 31, 2017, and payments made by mail that are postmarked on or before December 31, 2017 are authorized.

New York State Budget Director Robert Mujica said, ”For those local government and school districts able to issue their warrants before the end of the year, we encourage them to do so. We understand that for some, it would not be feasible nor practical.”

New York State Association of Counties Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario said, ”We commend Governor Andrew M. Cuomo for using his executive authority to provide options for homeowners in New York to prepay their 2018 property taxes. Due to the end of year time frame, this action is necessary to provide local authority to receive the taxes for payment in 2017.”

New York State Conference of Mayors Executive Director Peter A. Baynessaid, ”As the capping of the SALT deduction has become a painful reality for New York, our city and village leaders have been doing all they can legally to allow full or partial prepayment of 2018 property taxes in 2017. Fortunately, today’s decisive action by Governor Cuomo will assist our members as they help their residents deal with the negative financial impacts federal tax reform will have on millions of New Yorkers.”

 

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Board of Legislators Votes Unanimously to Override County Executive Astorino’s Veto of Budget.

WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From the Westchester County Board of Legislators. December 21,2017:

The Board of Legislators voted 17-0 this afternoon to confirm the budget they passed 12-5 two weeks ago and defeat the County Executive’s veto of that budget.

At 4:15 PM today they issued this statement:

“After years of fiscal mismanagement in the name of ideology, we believe the unanimous (17-0) support of this budget speaks for itself. We are putting Westchester back on a responsible financial path by working to plug the roughly $100M budget hole left by the outgoing administration while funding vital services all Westchester taxpayers rely on.”

The budget, approximately $1.84 billion increases county property taxes by 2%.

Eight Republicans voted to override as did the 9 Democrats.

 

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Bill Waterman formerly of White Plains NY USA, City Councilman Passes Away

WPCNR MILESTONES. From Candyce Corcoran’s Facebook  Page. Ms. Corcoran is a friend of Mr. Waterman’s family. December 20, 2017:

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Candyce Corcoran

With permission from Bill Waterman’s family I am posting this Heartbreaking information. Bill was not only our insurance agent and a close friend,but a political mentor to me in entering the world of politics.

He was a former councilman for the City of White Plains. I will never forget his laugh, vocabulary, and friendship. May he rest in peace and may his family be comforted in knowing that so many people Cared for Bill.

“I am sorry to say last night my dad passed away peacefully. Thank you for all the good wishes and prayers. It meant a lot to my family to know that so many people loved him and had so many funny stories and good times with him. He was certainly a one of a kind!! He loved living on Sanibel after a life time of living in NY. and he was his happiest when he was playing ball with the guys. He is going to be cremated and we have no plans at this time for a service. He will be buried in the late spring at a family cemetery in NY.

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Latimer Names 4 for his New County Administration

WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. December 20, 2017:

County Executive-Elect George Latimer announced to the Journal News today that Kenneth Jenkins, the former County Legislator from Yonkers would be his Deputy County Executive.

John Nonna, the former County Legislator would be County Attorney.

Latimer’s selection for Director of Operations is Joan McDonald, former Commissioner of Transportation for the State of New York.

Mr. Latimer also announced Catherine Cioffi, formerly a reporter for WCBS Radio would be his Director of Communications.

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21 National Women Leaders Urge Governor to End Sub Minimum Wage in Restaurant Business to Protect Employees from Sexual Harassment

WPCNR THE LETTER TICKER. DECEMBER 20, 2017:

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo Governor of New York State
NYS Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

 

One Fair Wage: Time to End the Subminimum Tipped Wage and Prevent Sexual Harassment in New York’s Restaurants

 

We, the undersigned women, write to thank you for announcing a proposal in your 2018 State of State to review eliminating the subminimum wage for tipped workers in New York and acknowledging that the practice of tipping disproportionately affects women and people of color and is linked to higher rates of sexual harassment. We urge you to act fast to put this regulation in effect. You have the opportunity to implement the first, and one of the most significant, statewide policy changes on sexual harassment in the #MeToo Movement. We look forward to making this happen with you. There is no better time to lead than now.

This fall’s unfolding explosive allegations of decades of sexual harassment and rape made against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has shined a floodlight on the pervasiveness of sexual harassment in the movie industry. The incident has highlighted how so many of the victims of sexual harassment and sexual assault stayed silent because they were made to feel their jobs were on the line, and that this type of behavior is “the norm.” Sadly, this is just one of many headlines in a year that saw Fox News founder Roger Ailes and one of his top stars, Bill O’Reilly, both exposed and fired for their years of sexual predation – their actions covered up with “hush money” or blatantly denied. More recently, we’ve learned of Matt Lauer’s, Kevin Spacey’s, and Charlie Rose’s transgressions. We of course cannot forget the dozens of women who also came forward to accuse Bill Cosby of drugging and raping them.

While this news about Hollywood might not be surprising to some, many likely would be surprised to learn that the restaurant industry is one of the largest sources of sexual harassment claims filed in the U.S. Recent headlines have focused on the sexual harassment inflicted on employees working for celebrity chefs/restaurateurs such as Mario Batali, Ken Friedman, and John Besh. But a recent survey by Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC) revealed that a culture of sexual harassment is the norm in the restaurant industry as a whole, whether it be in a 5-star restaurant in NYC or a small eatery in Hudson Falls. The survey found more than 80 percent of New York’s tipped restaurant employees reported experiencing unwanted sexual behaviors at work (from co-workers, customers, owners, managers, supervisors), and over half reported that this is a weekly or daily occurrence at their workplaces. Fifty-five percent reported that they or a co- worker had experienced verbal abuse at work in the past year, including harassment, slurs, and threats.

When workers are forced to rely on tips to make the minimum wage, they are more vulnerable to predatory sexual behavior from customers, co-workers, and employers.

States with a lower subminimum wage for tipped workers have twice the rate of sexual harassment and three times the rate of management coercion of workers to subject themselves to objectification than the seven states with one fair wage. As in Hollywood, sexual harassment is underreported in the restaurant industry and has been normalized as just part of the job.

On top of this culture of harassment and abuse, the restaurant industry offers some of the state’s lowest-paid jobs, particularly for women.

Thirty-five percent receive some form of public assistance. The subminimum wage for tipped employees constitutes a government-sanctioned pay gap, including a gender pay gap.

New York became a leader in 2016 by moving the minimum wage to $15 per hour for many of its residents. However, it left out the almost 400,000 tipped workers, most of whom work in the restaurant industry. Now is the time for Governor Cuomo to once again lead, and make New York become the first East Coast state to eliminate the tipped minimum wage and all the forms of discrimination and harassment it promotes.

Governor, thank you for directing the Department of Labor “to ensure that no workers are more susceptible to exploitation because they rely on tips to survive.” We commit to working with you to make One Fair Wage a reality in our state in 2018. Together we will effectively eliminate the workplace conditions and practices that put tipped workers – especially women and LGBTQ workers – at great risk of sexual harassment. This issue is front and center across the nation. There is no better time to act – to lead – than now.

Sincerely,

 

Dina Bakst, A Better Balance
Annette Choolfaian, Women’s City Club of New York
Eve Ensler, playwright & activist
Jane Fonda, actress & activist
Barbara Gault, Institute for Women’s Policy Research (org. for affiliation purposes only) 
Robin Chappelle Golston, Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts
Fatima Goss Graves, National Women’s Law Center (NWLC)
Sarita Gupta, Jobs with Justice (JWJ)
Saru Jayaraman, Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United)
Kalpana Krishnamurthy, Forward Together
Martha Maffei, SEPA Mujer Inc.
Dahlia J.W. McManus, Working Families Party (WFP)
Debra L. Ness, National Partnership for Women & Families
Beverly Neufeld, PowHer
Christine L. Owens, National Employment Law Project (NELP)
Ai-jen Poo, National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA)
Karen Scharff, Citizen Action of New York
Esta Soler, Futures Without Violence
Toni Van Pelt, National Organization for Women (NOW)
Teresa C. Younger & Aleyamma Mathew, Ms. Foundation for Women
Susan Zimet, Women’s Equality Party (WEP) 

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