FAQs

How do I obtain a marriage license?

Marriage licenses are issued at the town clerk’s office between 8:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

See Getting Married in New York State for complete information.


How do I pay my property taxes?

Did you know that New York State Law stipulates that property owners are responsible for their taxes and any penalties, whether they receive a tax bill or not.

Where to pay your bill

The Ithaca Town Hall is located at 215 N. Tioga Street, Ithaca, NY 14850.

§  Pay bills in person with cash, check, or money order Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. When Town Hall is closed, payments can be placed in the drop box located to the left of the Buffalo Street entrance. The drop box is checked every morning when Town Hall opens.

§  Send a check or money order to Town of Ithaca Receiver of Taxes. The postmark date is used to determine whether a payment is on time or late.

§  Pay bills online with an electronic check or with Visa or Master Card. Site fees are charged in the amount of $1.75 for electronic checks and 3% on the base tax amount for credit cards.

Payment schedule

Tax bills are mailed out during the last week of December. No payments will be accepted before January 1st. Postdated checks will not be honored.

Installment payment option:

§  Jan 1. – Jan. 31: 1st installment payments are due to the Town. Payments made after the 31st are due IN FULL with no exceptions (see “Full payment option” below for penalties).

§  Feb. 15 – Jul. 1: 2nd installment payments are due to the Tompkins County Finance Department at 125 E. Court Street (607-274-5545).

Full payment option:

·         Jan. 1 – Jan. 31: Tax bill payments are accepted without penalty.

·         Feb. 1 – Feb. 28: 1% penalty is added to the base tax amount.

·         Mar. 1 – Mar. 31: 2% penalty is added to the base tax amount.

·         Apr. 1: Payments received by the Town of Ithaca on or after this date will be mailed back to the owner. Unpaid tax bills are turned over to the County for collection by April 10th.

·         Apr. 15 – Jul.1: Tax bill payments are due to the Tompkins County Finance Department at 125 E. Court Street (274-5545). Penalties will be applied to the base tax amount. Please call for the actual amount due.

Name Changes:

Please call Tompkins County Assessment at 607-274-5517.


How do I pay my water and sewer bill?

Payment schedule

Bolton Point prints and mails Town of Ithaca water and sewer bills quarterly on the first day of March, June, September, and December. 

You have 30 days to make payments without penalty. After 30 days, there is a 10% penalty applied to the unpaid balance. It is the property owner’s or landlord’s responsibility to make sure payment is made.

Where to pay your bill

The Ithaca Town Hall is located at 215 N. Tioga Street, Ithaca, NY 14850.

§  Pay bills in person with cash, check, or money order Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. When Town Hall is closed, payments can be placed in the drop box located to the left of the Buffalo Street entrance. The drop box is checked every morning when Town Hall opens.

§  Send a check or money order to Town of Ithaca Water. The postmark date is used to determine whether a payment is on time or late. Postdated checks will not be honored.

§  Pay bills online with an electronic check or with Visa or Master Card. Site fees are charged in the amount of $1.75 for electronic checks and 3% on the total bill amount for credit cards.

Name and address changes

Please call Bolton Point at 607-277-0660.


When do I need a plumbing permit?

Plumbing permits are required for any new construction connection to water and/or sewer service on town utility mains.  Also, plumbing permits are required for any changes or repairs to existing interior or exterior water and/or sewer service piping.

Permits and information can be obtained at Bolton Point, 1402 East Shore Drive, Ithaca, NY 14850. Phone: (607) 272-0660.


When do I need a building permit?

Most work other than paint and floor coverings will require a building permit.  Section 125-4 of the Town Code has a list of exempted work. The staff at the Building and Zoning Department are happy to help you with questions on what activities require a building permit.  Contact them at  273-1783, Monday-Friday, 8AM-4PM. Phone calls are promptly returned. The Zoning Ordinance can be purchased through the Town Clerk's Department and available for download. Building Permit Applications are available through the  Code Enforcement Department at Town Hall or you can download them from the Forms page.


Do I need a building permit to reside or reroof my house?

Yes, the short application form can be used.


Which application form do I need to use to build a deck?

The full application must be used for deck construction.  The plans must include details on footers, framing, railing, steps, and lighting.


What Building codes and Land Use Regulations apply to the Town of Ithaca?

The NYS Fire Protection and Building Codes, the Town Zoning Ordinance and other local laws including but not limited to a Noise Ordinance and Property Maintenance Law. All local laws are available through the Town Clerk's Department. Information about NYS codes are available through the NYS Division of Code Enforcement and Administration's website:  http://www.dos.state.ny.us/code/ls-codes.html. Another valuable site is the Southern Tier Building Officials Association


What do I need to do to go through the Planning Board process?

Everything you need to know about the Planning Department and the Planning Board process, from staff services to guidelines on site plan review, to re-zoning your property, application forms and submittal requirements, can be found on the Planning Department page of our website.  You may also contact any Planning staff member by calling 607-273-1747, or click on a name on the Planning Department page to send an email to that staff member.


How many occupants can I have in my home?

A single family home can have one family or up to three unrelated people.  A two family home can have one family in each unit or up to two unrelated people in each unit.


Does the Town's Property Maintenance law include lawn maintenance?

No.


Who do I call before I dig?

Contact Dig Safely New York at 1-800-962-7962 or visit their website at  www.UFPO.org.


Who are the Town Board members?

Click here to meet the current Town Board members. 


How can I get copies of meeting minutes?

Final Town Board, Planning Board, Zoning Board, Public Works, Codes & Ordinance and Comprehensive Plan minutes are posted to our website after the minutes has been approved.

If you prefer to receive a hard copy there is a nominal copying charge for these documents and they are generally supplied the same day they are requested. A Records Request Form is available for your convenience to submit an online request for copies of documents.


Can I request copies of any record via email?

The Town of Ithaca has created an interactive form for you to submit a request for records: Request For Records Via Email

Once you've clicked the Submit button on this page, you will see a confirmation page letting you know that your request has been sent to the Town Clerk. The Town Clerk will respond to your request within 5 business days.

For more information on the Committee on Open Government and the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) go to www.dos.state.ny.us/coog/coogwww.html


When is the next Town Board meeting?
 
To view a calendar for all upcoming board/committee meetings,click here .


Who maintains my road? I see Town trucks, Tompkins  County trucks, and New York State trucks.

That depends on who owns your road. The Town of Ithaca owns certain “local” roads within its boundaries. Tompkins County owns 15 roads and New York State owns 8 roads within the town. County and State roads are considered thoroughfares—roads that go through the Town of Ithaca into another town. Examples are Coddington Road (County Road) and Danby Road/RT 96B (State Road). However, the Town plows and salts certain roads that are owned by Tompkins County and the State plows and salts all the State roads in the Town. If you have questions about this, please call the Town Highway Department at 273-1656 so we can direct you to the proper entity. County road questions should be referred to Tompkins County Highway Department at 274-0300 and State road questions should be referred to New York State DOT at (607) 756-7072.


General Information about Public Works

The Town of Ithaca Public Works Facility is located at 106 Seven Mile Drive and  functions as a public steward providing snow removal; paving; yard waste collection; vegetation control; storm water management; and parks, trails, water, sanitary sewer, and road maintenance services. Hours of operation are Monday-Friday from 6:30 am to 3:00 pm. Phone number is (607) 273-1656.

The Public Works Department also assists the Town Board and other departments with projects to be completed within the Town. The Public Works Department strives to make the Town of Ithaca a very pleasant, worthwhile town in which to live.

Public Works Committee: Meets monthly at 9:00am at the Public Works Facility, 106 Seven Mile Drive


When is the brush and leaf pick up?

Please refer to the Quick News section of the home page for specific dates and information.

Brush and Leaf Collection is for all areas of the Town of Ithaca outside the Village of Cayuga Heights and the City of Ithaca.

In the spring and fall, the Town of Ithaca Public Works Department picks up yard waste (brush and bagged leaves, pine needles, garden waste, and grass clippings) in mid-April and in mid-late October.  All yard waste must be at roadside by 7:00 a.m. of the first day of the collection. 

Brush should be placed in neat piles going with the flow of traffic so that the chipping trucks can feed the cut ends first.  The intention of the brush collection service is for residents to put a reasonable amount of brush out at roadside for pick up.  Brush piles are limited to approximately 2’ H x 4’ W x 8’ L in size.

 Please note, our crews do not vacuum leaves in the spring, therefore, no loose piles of leaves will be picked up.  For all collections, leaves and garden waste must be bagged in biodegradable paper bags.  Fold over openings of bags to close—do not staple or tape.  No plastic bags will be picked up.  In the fall, Leaves are vacuumed throughout the Town.  Bagged leaves and yard waste are also collected in the fall.  Bagged leaf pickup occurs on each subsequent Monday through November.

Please do not put yard waste out at roadside until the week before collections. You may also drop your yard waste off at the Public Works Facility at 106 Seven Mile Drive, Monday - Friday from 7:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. year around.  Please first sign in at the office. 

For questions, please call 273-1656 between 6:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., Monday - Friday or e-mail us.


Is there a policy or guidelines regarding mailbox installations?

Mailboxes shall be installed according to United States Postal Service guidelines.  The distance from the edge of pavement to the front of the mailbox shall be 6” to 12” with a 43” clearance to the bottom of the mailbox or structure support arm.

Property owners assume the responsibility of proper placement and ensuring the wooden, metal or plastic post and arm are free from rot, breakage or deterioration and are in a structurally sound condition. 

If a mailbox that is properly installed and initially in good repair is damaged by a Town vehicle/equipment, the Town will replace or repair it upon timely notification being given to the Public Works Department.  Repairs requiring a new mailbox will be made using a standard aluminum mailbox. Mailboxes that have been knocked down due to a deteriorated condition, repairs/replacement will be the responsibility of the property owner.

Newspaper boxes should follow the same requirements for mailboxes and should not be placed under the mailbox due to the clearance requirements.

Questions about mailboxes or other structures in the right-of-way should be directed to the Public Works Department at 607-273-1656.


Can residents obtain mulch or compost from the Public Works Facility?

Yes. The Town's Public Works Facility offers wood chips, shredded wood mulch, and compost free of charge to Town of Ithaca residents. (Please note that the wood chips are irregularly sized due to the chipping process and are not always available.) These services are not available to contractors or City of Ithaca residents. You can find these items at the Public Works Facility located at 106 Seven Mile Drive. Town of Ithaca residents should sign in at the office before picking up any of these items. Additionally, Town of Ithaca residents may bring brush, leaves, garden waste, and grass clippings to the facility for drop off. Receiving hours are 7:00am-2:30pm M-F.  Public access is limited to the designated drop off / pick up locations.  Please refer to the map in the office.


Does the Town provide trash and recycling pickup?

No, you must contract with a local hauler or contact Tompkins County Solid Waste at (607) 273-6632. They can advise with contracting with local trash haulers.


Does the Town have a Dog Ordinance?

Yes,  If you have any questions, contact the Town Clerk's Office at 607-273-1721


Does the Town have a Noise Ordinance?

Click here for a Noise Ordinance Permit application you can submit to the Town Clerk's Office.

If you have any questions, contact the Town Clerk's Office at 607-273-1721


Where can I pay a Town Court fine?
The Ithaca Town Court is located off the lobby of the Town Hall. Court fines can be paid at the Court Clerk's office Monday-Thursday 8:00am-3:30pm and Fridays between 8:00am and 11:30am. Fines may be paid by cash or money order (NO PERSONAL CHECKS) in person or via mail to Ithaca Town Court, 215 N. Tioga Street, Ithaca, NY 14850. Include a self-addressed stamped envelope and your receipt will be mailed to you. Contact the Court Clerk Office 273-0493 with any questions or see their web page.

Can I pay my water/sewer bill online?

As a convenience to our residents and users, we offer online payments for water & sewer bills.  Click here.