School taxes will not be paid at any of the local M&T branch locations this year. Instead residents will have to pay online or mail their payments to the Lockport City School District School tax collector at a PO box in Buffalo.
Debbie Coder, assistant superintendent for Finance and Management Services, announced to the Board of Education’s audit committee on June 9 that M&T Bank would no longer be offering in-person tax collection.
The conversation was recorded on the district’s YouTube page.
“The last thing Josh (Heim, government banking representative) let us know, M&T bank is no longer going to give in-person tax payment,” Coder was recorded as saying in the 4:45 p.m. Audit Committee meeting. “This came up last year. … How am I supposed to tell our taxpayers that they did it, even though it was during massive Covid, but now they won’t?”
Board President Karen Young noted the district could approach M&T Bank about the lack of service and say that the district may look elsewhere for its banking.
“That’s what happened last time, it was a no, then all of sudden it was a yes,” Coder said. “So, I’ll just say again, I’ll say, ‘I just want you to know.’ I’ll just let them know that I’ve been instructed to partner with another bank that will (provide in-person tax payment).”
Coder said in an email to the US&J that, “valiant efforts were made to secure another bank for the collection,” but, unfortunately, because of time constraints – six weeks – the task was left undone.
Coder explained that the district needed to print tax bills with payment directions by the second week of August.
Coder’s email also read that the audit committee could not in fair conscious make in-person collection or drop boxes available for the public because of, “the unknown’s of COVID-19 and the Delta variant.”
According to the school’s website, payments by mail should be addressed to Lockport City School District, P.O. Box 2264, Buffalo, NY 14240 and should be made payable to Lockport City School District School Tax Collector. Canceled checks will serve as a receipt.
Coder did not say whether a stamped self-addressed envelope should be mailed with the payment.
M&T Bank was unavailable to comment on Wednesday.
Online payments can be made at https://pay.xpress-pay.com/bill/search.
Taxes are due without penalty by Oct. 1, 2021.