The City of Poughkeepsie
Annual Sanitation Charges to be Billed Separately – Effective 2017
In 2013 the Common Council adopted a resolution changing the billing system for sanitation so that the charges were billed as a separate line on the homeowner’s annual tax bill. Although Former Mayor Tkazik vetoed the resolution on January 17, 2014, questioning the appropriateness of asking mortgage escrow companies to make sanitation payments on behalf of their customers, the Council overrode his veto and the change took effect in 2015. Typically mortgage documents do not authorize lenders to collect sanitation charges as part of their escrow agreements with property owners.
Since the change became effective, many of the predicted problems became reality. For the first year, caught unprepared, mortgage servicers did make the larger escrow payment. In turn, they increased homeowner’s monthly mortgage payment by adjusting their escrow. Later, increasing numbers of lenders declined to pay the sanitation charge (but may have neglected to tell their customers of that decision). This resulted in unintended delinquencies, and in late charges being assessed to homeowners. Rather than increasing the city’s collection rate on sanitation charges as was intended, the action created confusion amongst banks and property owners. Landlords who had previously passed sanitation bills along to tenants also found the change inconvenient and burdensome.
Because of the negative impact, I asked Mayor Rolison and the new Common Council to revert to the former billing system. That request may be viewed here, and was approved by action of the Council in November, 2016. A copy of the resolution may be viewed here.
Customers will now once again receive separate sanitation bills, which will be mailed in mid-February, 2017. Charges may be paid by mail, in person at City Hall, or online by clicking here.
Commissioner of Finance