Pendleton residents want answers after learning property tax payments are lost in the mail

PENDLETON NY (WIVB) – Residents of the town of Pendleton are demanding answers after their property tax payments got lost in the mail.

“The calls became more and more frequent and I thought, ‘Something is wrong, something is seriously wrong here,'” Pendleton City Clerk Deborah Maurer said. I found out that at least 40 to 50 people I know of have not yet received their tax payments.”

Maurer said the city is trying to figure out why so many property tax payments mailed to residents have not been delivered. She said it appears that payments posted on or around January 4, 10 and 18 are missing from the mail.

“Some people are frustrated. I ask them to possibly stop a payment on their checks, it is their decision, but we do not know if these checks are in the hands of someone else and, if possible, can they be cashed”, she said. “So I would advise residents to make that decision based on how they think it would affect their checking accounts.”

Maurer said she was also concerned that residents would assume their taxes were paid because they were posted on time, but they might actually miss it. She also said the city had no authority to waive late fees.

“It’s not a state of emergency, unfortunately, it’s lost mail. I feel bad for our residents,” Maurer said.

News 4 spoke to concerned residents who discovered the city never received their checks.

“I’m really worried about where the check is, we need to stop payments on a check,” resident Donna Wyant said. “We can wait and see, but that’s not good either and we don’t want the check to drag on. It’s too big a check to deposit where it is.

“I was shocked after a few weeks to see it hadn’t been cashed because usually I put it in the mailbox and within a week or so it’s cashed,” said resident Joan Wright. of Pendleton.

Maurer said she would meet with US postal inspectors on Tuesday. News 4 contacted the USPS for comment, but did not hear back.

Sarah Minkewicz is a journalist who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

Penny D. Jackson