OpinionEditorial New federal tax law can spur a reckoning on Long Island Many are desperately trying to prepay their 2018 property taxes in the hopes they’ll be able to deduct those payments on their 2017 federal returns. A line of residents waiting to pay their taxes snakes out of Huntington Town Hall at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017. Photo Credit: Newsday / Lawrence Striegel By The Editorial Board Updated December 28, 2017 5:39 PM Print Share fbShare Tweet gShare Email Plenty of people are willing to stand on line in the bitter cold during the holiday season — but it’s usually for an exciting opportunity, like the chance to skate at Rockefeller Center. On Long Island, homeowners are waiting . . . to pay their property taxes. The rush in Washington to put new federal tax policy into place has led to anger, aggravation and confusion from homeowners who saw one of their prized deductions disappear. Many are desperately trying to prepay their 2018 property taxes in the hopes they’ll be able to deduct those payments on their 2017 federal returns. But while the Internal Revenue Service’s initial guidance suggests some property owners will be able to do that, there’s still little clarity or certainty. Change in the tax law of this scope demanded time to phase in changes, to understand the implications, to determine how they would work in practice. Those New Yorkers who fear a significant jump in future liability had been given no time to prepare. The frenzy to prepay is just the beginning of the anticipated and unanticipated consequences of the new tax law. But it already has shed important light on the complexities in and confusion about New York’s own layers of governance and taxation. Amid the probable consequences of the new federal code is a single bright spot: It’s a forced opportunity to examine how, when and what Long Islanders pay, where their tax money goes, and what they get for it. Inevitably we will start to discuss how we fund our schools, whether there’s a need for costly multiple layers of government and the work rules that inflate the cost of municipal labor agreements. Such a reckoning will take time and political will. For now, however, Long Island homeowners — and others across the country — are left to stand out in the cold. — The editorial board By The Editorial Board Share on Facebook Share on Twitter More on this topic Everything the editorial board wrote about in 2017This year, the editorial board wrote more than 400 editorials - taking positions on the news, politics and policies that impact Long Islanders. Editorials are the consensus position of the editorial board. They are written and reported independently of the newsroom; news editors, reporters and photographers are not involved in the creation of this material. With each argument we publish, we strive to be a reasoned and pragmatic advocate for what is best for Long Island. We hope readers will use this index of the editorials written in 2017 as a way to easily research our priors positions, suggest additional topics to us that are not being recognized and to hold us accountable for our views. Sign up for The PointThe Point is Newsday Editorial Board's new daily newsletter taking you behind closed doors into the New York political scene. A must-read for those who want exclusive insights into local, city and state politics and policy. Don't miss The Point. Sign up now. Cartoons of the day Comments Comments section is temporarily on hold. Here’s why.