City of Binghamton, New York

Frequently Asked Questions

Assessment

When can someone apply for the STAR program?

Every year between January 1st and March 1st.

When is grievance day?

Every year on the fourth Tuesday in May.

When does the Assessment roll come out?

The tentative roll comes out on May 1st, the final roll is out on July 1st.

Building Construction

What kind of work requires a Building Permit?

In accordance with Code of Ordinances, Chapter §200-9. Building permits, a Building Permits is required. for any work which must conform to the Uniform Code and/or the Energy Code.
This work may include: demolition of structures; construction of new residential, commercial and industrial buildings; additions to residential, commercial and industrial buildings; interior and exterior structural repairs; alterations, improvements and remodeling of existing structures; and the construction, enlargement, alteration, improvement, removal, relocation, demolition, or the extension of electrical, plumbing or HVAC systems.
A Building Permit is required for the installation of a solid-fuel-burning heating appliance, gas fired decorative appliances, chimney or flue; garages, carports, sheds larger than 100 square feet; decks, porches and stairs; roofing and siding; fences; swimming pools in which the water depth is greater than two-feet; residential and commercial heating systems (new and replacements); fire suppression systems, or fire alarm systems; parking lots subject to Planning approval.

Can a homeowner do his own plumbing work?

Any plumbing work that requires a Building Permit must be performed by a licensed Master Plumber.

Can a homeowner do his own electrical work?

Yes,  with certain limitations, in accordance with Code of Ordinances, § 225-6.B. as below:
B.            Notwithstanding any other restrictions, the owner-occupant or intended owner-occupant of residential real property shall make application for an electrical permit to make alterations or repairs to the electrical system on said real property consisting of one, two or three dwelling units without being required to obtain a license as a master electrician for said electrical work. This provision shall in no way authorize a person to perform electrical work outside of property owned by said person or on property containing more than three dwelling units, mixed use, or nonresidential property. Electrical work shall be limited to electrical wiring within the dwelling units, excluding service entrance cable and electrical panel, to accessory structures (i.e., garages and pools), and exterior fixtures located on such property, excluding electrical service entrance cable and electrical panel. The electrical work shall be subject to inspection by the City of Binghamton Electrical Inspector or his or her successor or designee.
 

Does an swimmng pool, of any type, have to be enclosed by a fence?

Code standards for a swimming pool in a residential occupancy are not the same as the requirements in a commercial occupancy, including public pools.
SWIMMING POOL. Any structure, basin, chamber or tank which is intended for swimming, diving, recreational bathing or wading and which contains, is designed to contain, or is capable of containing water more than 24 inches (610 mm) deep at any point. This includes in-ground, above-ground and on-ground pools; indoor pools; hot tubs; spas; and fixed-in-place wading pools.
In a residential occupancy, a protective barrier is required for a swimming pool, as defined above. Reference the most current version of the NY State Residential Code, Appendix G, for detailed information about the design and installation requirements for swimming pools.

What is the maximum height of a fence?

Residential: eight foot with restrictions. Commercial: ten foot with restrictions.

Does the good side of a fence have to face the neighbor?

No. The person who is legally installing a fence may determine where to locate a post or how to orient either side (face) of the structure.

Is a permit required to re-pave an existing driveway?

No, but a new driveway may require approvals.

What are the Code requirements for new stairs?

A Building Permit is required for all new or reconstructed stairs and stairways. Refer to the NY State Residential Code for complete details (Residential Code R311.5)
In one or two-family, residential structures minimum stair tread is 9," the maximum riser height is 8 1/4", the minimum stair width is 36."  All risers and treads must have the same measurement.
Handrails are required for stairs that have more than two risers. Minimum height is 34" and the maximum height is 38" measured from the nosing of the stair tread. 
Handrails and deck guards shall not have any openings between spindles/barristers of 4." 

Are there restrictions on the location of a solid fence?

Yes. In accordance with Code of Ordinances, Chapter 410, § 410-14. Fences, hedges and walls
No solid fence, wall, natural plantings, or barrier with a height greater than three feet may be installed, constructed, or planted within 12 feet of the front property line or the distance to the front face of the residence,whichever is less.
No solid fence, wall, natural plantings, or barrier with a height greater than three feet may be installed, constructed, or planted along any side property line if or when the solid fence, wall, natural plantings, or barrier is within 10 feet of a driveway.
On any corner lot, the height of any solid fence, wall, natural plantings, or barrier shall not exceed four feet along the front and side property lines adjacent to the street. The fence height must be reduced to three feet within the triangular area formed by the intersecting street lines and the straight line joining said street lines in accordance with § 410-17.

Human Rights Commission, City Clerk

How do I file a complaint with the Binghamton Human Rights Commission?

To file a complaint with the Binghamton Human Rights Commission, please complete the Binghamton Human Rights Commission Intake Form. For submission information, along with more information on the Commission itself, please visit the Commission's webpage.

How do I file a complaint with the Binghamton Human Rights Commission?

To file a complaint with the Binghamton Human Rights Commission, please complete the Binghamton Human Rights Commission Intake Form. For submission information, along with more information on the Commission itself, please visit the Commission's webpage.

City Clerk

Is this where you go to get married?

Yes, you can both obtain a marriage license and get married in the Binghamton City Clerk's Office. The City Clerk and Deputy City Clerk can perform marriage ceremonies at City Hall during regular business hours for a fee of $50. Alternatively, you may request a marriage ceremony outside of regular business hours anywhere in the City of Binghamton for a fee of $75. 

Who do I contact for birth and death records?

Records of births and deaths occcurring within the City of Binghamton are recorded by the Registrar of Vital Statistics. For more information, please visit the Office of Vital Statistics webpage

Where can I find a copy of my divorce papers?

Records of divorces filed within Broome County are maintained by the Broome County Clerk's Office

Where do I obtain a dog license?

You may obtain a dog license from the Clerk of the municipality in which you reside. This office issues dog licenses for City of Binghamton residents only.

 

Police Department, Fire Department, Office of the Mayor, City Clerk

How do I obtain copies of government records?

To access City of Binghamton records, please submit a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request, also known as an Application for Public Access to Records. The City of Binghamton will respond to your request within five (5) business days.

How do I obtain copies of government records?

To access City of Binghamton records, please submit a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request, also known as an Application for Public Access to Records. The City of Binghamton will respond to your request within five (5) business days.

How do I obtain copies of government records?

To access City of Binghamton records, please submit a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request, also known as an Application for Public Access to Records. The City of Binghamton will respond to your request within five (5) business days.

How do I obtain copies of government records?

To access City of Binghamton records, please submit a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request, also known as an Application for Public Access to Records. The City of Binghamton will respond to your request within five (5) business days.

City Council

When is the next City Council meeting?

Work Sessions are held on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of every month. Business Meetings are held on the Wednesdays following Work Sessions. Certain exceptions may apply if a Work Session or Business Meeting falls on a holiday, so please consult the City Council webpage for a complete listing of all meetings. 

Code Enforcement

How many smoke detectors are required in my apartment?

At least one WORKING detector is required in every sleeping area of each living unit, in each room for sleeping purposes, in each story within a dwelling unit, including basements and cellars.  In addition, a multi-story apartment building is required to have one WORKING detector at each landing level of staircases.  Further details available in the Code of Ordinances and the NY State Property Maintenance code.

Why does it take so long to achieve Code compliance?

The constitutional right of due process under law. 
When a violation is identified, the alleged violator is allowed a certain amount of time to correct the non-compliant condition.
Under certain circumstances, a violation may persist over time, while the responsible party takes corrective action.
If there is no meaningful attempt to correct the violation, the responsible party is issued a summons or an appearance ticket. Following this action, the case is assigned to the Unified Court System, where it will be prosecuted.
The final disposition of a violation is determined by the presiding judge, based on the prevailing circumstances of the individual case.

How much time does a property owner have to paint a non-compliant house, before reinspection?

If you have received a Notice of Violation, the standard period before reinspection for compliance is thirty (30) days. Seasonal conditions that affect this type of work are considered when a reinspection date is being scheduled.

Who is responsible for correcting a code violation, the property owner or the occupant/tenant?

The person responsible for creating the violation is responsible. If a Notice of Violation is issued for a non-compliant condition, the party who is being held responsible will be named explicitly in the Notice.

When does the inside of an apartment have to be painted?

In accordance with NY State Property Maintenance code, Section 305.3, all interior surfaces, including windows and doors, shall be maintained in good, clean and sanitary condition. Peeling, chipping, flaking or abraded paint shall be repaired, removed or covered. In addition to requirements of this code, 40 CFR 745 (titled "Lead-based Paint Poisoning Prevention in Certain Residential Structures"), a regulation issued and enforced by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, applies to certain activities in buildings that may contain lead-based paint, including renovations performed for compensation in "target housing" and "child-occupied facilities," "abatement" of lead-based paint hazards and other "lead-based paint activities" (as those terms are defined in 40 CFR Part 745). Cracked or loose plaster, decayed wood and other defective surface conditions shall be corrected.

On what date can the landlord shut-off the heat due to summer weather?

If the outside temperature is 55 degrees or less, the heat inside a home must be maintained at 68 degrees, no matter what date or season. Reference Code of Ordinance, §265-12.F.(1), for additional details

Are timers or set back thermometers allowed to be used by a landlord?

Timers are not allowed.  A set back can be used but has to be set at a minimum of 68 degrees. Code questions about heating systems can be directed to the Code Enforcement Officer at (607) 772-7004.

How soon after a snowstorm does snow and ice have to be removed from a sidewalk?

In accordance with Code of City Ordinances, §265-13, snow or ice must be removed by the property owner, within 24 hours after the end of a snowstorm.

How high is grass allowed to grow before a Notice of Violation is issued?

In accordance with Code of Ordinances, §265-13.H.(1).(c), maximum height is 10 inches.
In accordance with Code of Ordinances, §265-4.A.(4).(a), the property owner or designee has 48 hrs maximum to correct the violation, upon receiving a Notice of Violation.
 

How many unlicensed vehicles can you have on your property in the City?

In accordance with Code of Ordinances, §265-14.D.(5).(d), "Junked vehicles as defined in §265-2(below), equipment, or materials will not be stored at the premises."
§ 265-2 UNREGISTERED AND/OR UNLICENSED VEHICLES -- Any vehicle, including a tractor and trailer, without a currently valid license plate or plates or which is in either a wrecked, discarded, dismantled, inoperative or abandoned condition and is not in a condition where it may be used on a public highway. An expired inspection sticker or lack of a current inspection sticker shall be presumptive evidence that a vehicle is not in a condition capable of being used on a public highway. Vehicles capable of being driven on a public highway and offered for sale by a automobile dealer duly licensed by the State of New York Department of Motor Vehicles to sell automobiles shall not be considered unregistered and/or unlicensed vehicles when offered for sale at the dealer's place of business as stated in his application for an automobile dealers license to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.

Can we receive a building permit from your department?

No, building permits must be obtained through the Building & Construction Department.

Do we need a certificate of compliance in order to live in our apartment?

No. However, periodic inspection of residential rental property is required under the Code of Ordinances, §265-6. "Registration of rental housing units" A tenant or prospective tenant may request a Life Safety and Property Maintenance inspection to determine whether existing conditions within a residential occupancy are in general conformance with applicable codes. Request inspection by calling the Supervisor of Code Enforcement, (607) 772-7004.

How should I file a complaint with Code Enforcement?

The proper way to file a complaint with Code is to call the Code Office at 772-7010 or use the Online Request a Service.  The Complaint Tracking System is a Database that requires certain information and assigns a Tracking number to this specific complaint.  Your name and phone number will be part of the electronic file, but it will remain strictly confidential.  If the Inspector requires clarification or additional information, direct contact with the complainant is required.  If the current status of your complaint is requested, it can be immediately accessed from any computer terminal in Code Enforcement.

Community Development

Are there grant funds available?

The City uses a portion of its entitlement funds to offer grants to not-for-profit and faith based organizations to provide public service programs that will primarily benefit low/moderate income residents and neighborhoods. 

The City also uses a portion of its entitlement funds to offer zero interest deferred loans to eligible applicants accepted into the City's affordable housing programs.  Certain types of deferred loans are completely forgiven upon an applicant's compliance with the City's residency and occupancy requirements.

Economic Development

What types of grants and/or loans are available through the City of Binghamton?

Low interest loans are available through our Binghamton Local Development Corporation.
Business owners can check for initiatives, available grants and tax credits from the New York State Department of Labor website for new hires, job postings, on-the-job training, hiring dislocated workers, youth, formerly incarcerated individuals and veterans.
NYSERDA offers training, grants, loans and incentives for energy audits, and efficiency upgrades.   

Where can I find information about commercial properties available in the City of Binghamton?

The Department of Economic Development tracks available commercial properties in the City of Binghamton. We work with property owners and/or commercial realtors to identify properties with the proper zoning that are suitable for your businesses needs and budget.

What other type of financial assistance can the City of Binghamton provide for start up business or expansion and growth?

Since 1982 the City of Binghamton through the Binghamton Local Development Corporation has offered business owners a low cost alternative to filling the gap in financing packages. Hundreds of local companies have taken advantage of loans at below market rates. These funds may be used for building purchase or construction, building reconstruction or rehabilitation, machinery and equipment purchase and installation or start up costs of a small business. For more information contact the Department of Economic Development.

Who can help me with taking a concept or business idea and making it a reality? (Filing dba, financing, location, business plan, etc.)?

The Economic Development Office can assist with general business information and referrals for commercial and industrial firms. Site selection and relocation assistance, access to various County, State and Federal programs and requirements, assessment and tax information, and accessibility to various entities that would be able to further assist.

Why the City of Binghamton over any other community? Who can help me with analyzing the location options for my business?

The Department of Economic Development has a staff available to analyze all the options specific to your business needs. It is our job to assist relocating to or expanding in the City of Binghamton with all resources available to achieve their individual goals.

Employment

Where can I get an application to work or take a civil service exam for the City of Binghamton?

Application forms are available from the City of Binghamton Civil Service Office, 5th floor City Hall, 38 Hawley Street, Binghamton, New York 13901. Office hours: Monday thru Friday 8:15am - 3:45pm, or by downloading it from this page.

Engineering

When is a street work permit required?

In accordance with the Code of Ordinances, §355-35 , whenever there is any work planned in the street right of way (ROW) which is from the back edge of the sidewalk on each side of the street.  This includes any curb or sidewalk work, any type of excavation, placement of dumpsters, cranes and other construction equipment.  If there is any doubt about the need for a permit, please call the Engineering Department at (607)772-7007.

Engineering, Public Works

The curbs in front of my house have deteriorated over the years. Will the City replace these?

When a street is scheduled for reconstruction, curbs, sidewalks, underground utilities, and the road surface are all replaced as part of the project.  Generally speaking however, curbs and sidewalks are the responsibility of the property owner as stated in the City Ordinance.  The Engineering Department offers a 50 - 50 rebate program, for which residents must sign up.  The City then pays 50% of the cost for curb and/or sidewalk replacement and the property owner pays ther other 50%.

The curbs in front of my house have deteriorated over the years. Will the City replace these?

When a street is scheduled for reconstruction, curbs, sidewalks, underground utilities, and the road surface are all replaced as part of the project.  Generally speaking however, curbs and sidewalks are the responsibility of the property owner as stated in the City Ordinance.  The Engineering Department offers a 50 - 50 rebate program, for which residents must sign up.  The City then pays 50% of the cost for curb and/or sidewalk replacement and the property owner pays ther other 50%.

Fire Department

Who do I contact with Ambulance Billing questions?

All questions regarding Ambulance billing should be directed to our billing agency. Intermedix Billing Company (888)980-9318

Is open burning allowed within city limits?

Open burning within the City of Binghamton is only permitted under certain specific circumstances.

If you have questions after reading § 235-12 of the City Ordinance, call the Fire Marshal's Office at (607) 772-7123.

Historic Preservation

Are there any funds to help with Historic Preservation projects?

Kind of.

Properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places or contributing buildings to National Register Historic Districts may be eligible for Federal and/or New York State Tax Credits for potentially up to 20% of qualifying costs for owner-occupied residential buildings, or up to 40% of qualifying costs for incoming producing buildings (this includes RENTAL residential). More information is available on the NY State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) website.

Any designated historic property, Nation Register or Local Landmark, may be eligible for the 444a tax abatement program. If a historic preservation project will result in the accessed value, and therefore the taxes, to go up, that increase in taxes can be abated for a total of 10 years (100% abatement for the first 5 years, 80% abatement in year 6, 60% abatement in year 7, et cetera).

Please call the Historic Preservation Planner at (607) 772-7028 for more information.

What is a historic property?

A historic property is a property that is designated or has been determined eligible at the local, state, or federal level.  Properties eligible for local historic designation must either be important for representing broad patterns of history, for their association with the life of a historically significant person, or for conveying high architectural or artistic value.

How do I know if my property is a historic resource?

Please contact the Historic Preservation Planner to find out if your property qualifies as a historic property.

Is my property designated?

The city maintains a list of all locally designated properties. This includes individually designated properties as well as historic districts.  You can check whether your property is designated with the Historic Preservation Planner.

What if my property qualifies as a historic resource?

If your property qualifies as a historic property or is located within the boundaries of a historic district, all exterior alterations, additions, and repairs require a review by the Commission on Architecture & Urban Design (CAUD).  This includes alterations that do not require a permit. If you are unsure if your project requires review, contact the Historic Preservation Planner for guidance.

What is CAUD and what does it do?

CAUD stands for Commission on Architecture and Urban Design.  It is comprised of members of the public, who oversee the establishment and preservation of historic landmarks and historic districts in the City of Binghamton.  To this end, they are authorized by City ordinance to review proposed exterior alterations to all historic landmarks or properties located within historic districts. They can then decide to issue a Certificate of Approval, Approval with Conditions, or Denial based on their findings.

If I want to paint my historic building, is the work subject to reviewed?

Yes. All exterior changes to a designated property must go through some level of review.  The review process applies to exterior improvements, including (but not limited to): painting, window and door replacement, walls and fences, and signage. Please refer to the Historic Design Review page for details.

Is there a fee for a CAUD review?

There is no fee for Design Review.  There is a $100 fee for a Local Landmark designation review.

How do apply for CAUD approval?

The first step to meet with the Historic Preservation Planner, who can go over your proposed plan and provide some guidance on what might be acceptable.  The next step is to fill out a CAUD Design Review Application, which can be downloaded from CAUD section of the Planning, Housing, and Community Development website.  Submit your completed application to the Historic Preservation Planner, along with copies of architectural drawings, photographs of the property, product samples or brochures, or any other materials necessary for CAUD to make proper review (consult with the Historic Preservation Planner as to what materials may be required for your specific project).  The more detailed information you can provide the Commission, the easier and quicker they will be able to reach a decision.  After you submit your application materials, city staff will review them for completeness and submit a report to CAUD, detailing the proposal and staff findings.  The application will be reviewed at the monthly CAUD meeting (held the last Tuesday of every month, at 12:00 noon, in the Planning Conference Room, 4th Floor, City Hall).  You are highly encouraged to attend this meeting so you can address any concerns the Commission has in person.

What if I have more questions?

Call the City of Binghamton Historic Preservation Planner at (607) 772-7028 or email us.

Office of the Mayor

Parks & Recreation

How do I reserve a pavilion?

There are no pavilions within the City of Binghamton's parks. If you wish to reserve a pavilion within a Broome County park, please contact the Broome County Department of Parks, Recreation & Youth Services

Are dogs allowed in the parks?

Yes, but only if they are on a leash and you must clean up after them. There is also a dog park at Cheri A. Lindsey Memorial Park & Bark Park.

What is being served for lunch at the First Ward Senior Center?

Please contact the First Ward Senior Center directly at (607) 729-6214.

Police Department

How can I start a neighborhood watch in my community?

Please contact the Crime Prevention office at (607) 772-7093

How do I become a Police Officer?

The City of Binghamton Police Department is a professional law enforcement organization dedicated to providing the finest police service to the residents of the City of Binghamton. The Department is always looking for honest, dedicated people with the highest integrity to join the force.

Employment as a police officer is governed by the Binghamton Civil Service Commission. Please refer to the Employment page for job openings and examination dates.

I suspect drug activity in my neighborhood. Who do I contact?

You can report suspected drug activity to the Special Investigations Task Force at (607) 778-3941 or by clicking HERE.

Public Works

Why do City snowplows always deposit large amounts of snow in my driveway?

It is the City's responsibility to remove snow from all streets in the interest of public safety.  In doing so, the snow has to be pushed to the curbside, which unavoidably deposits snow in driveway openings.  The City suggest that you wait until the plow goes by before clearing your driveway.

Why do City plows travel several times over the main streets before plowing the residential areas?

During a heavy prolonged snowfall, the first priority is to open up the emergency routes and main arteries before proceeding to the residential areas.  The goal then becomes to clear all streets of snow accumulation within a reasonable time after snow stops falling.

Who is responsible for the maintenance of sidewalks?

The property owner is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of sidewalks.
In accordance with the Code of Ordinances, §355-14. depositing snow on streets and sidewalks is prohibited.
In accordance with the Code of Ordinances, §265-13. public sidewalks abutting upon private property shall be maintained and repaired by the owner of the property in accordance with the following provisions:
(1) The owner shall cause his or her sidewalk to be kept free of obstructions and in good repair and conditions and safe for public use.
(2) In the event that sidewalks become out of grade (a heave, movement or settlement greater than one inch), the owner shall bring the same into true grade.
(3) Where the owner shall fail or neglect to repair any sidewalk or bring the same to true grade within 45 days as determined by the Code Enforcement Bureau, the sidewalk shall be repaired or brought to grade by the Department of Public Works, and a bill for the expenses incurred shall be presented to the owner and collected in accordance with §§ 91 and 92 of the Second Class Cities Law of the State of New York. The bill presented to the owner shall include all City expenses, material and contractor costs.
(4) The accumulation of snow and ice on sidewalks must be removed within 24 hours after said accumulation ceases. In the event of noncompliance, the Code Enforcement Director may direct the Department of Public Works to clean said sidewalks, and a bill shall be presented to the owner as per Subsection I(3).
(5) In addition, the owners of commercial properties in areas defined as business or commercial districts under Chapter 410, Zoning, of the Code of the City of Binghamton, shall be required to maintain the sidewalk(s) abutting their property free of litter, trash and garbage and shall provide trash receptacles into which their patrons may dispose of all litter, trash and/or garbage generated by the provision of services or goods to their patrons.

How do I report a pothole?

To report a pothole, please use the City of Binghamton App. You may also call our dispatch office at (607)772-7020.

Who shall I notify when there is a street light that is out or in need of repair?

To report a street light that is out or in need of repair, please use the City of Binghamton App. You may also call our dispatch office at (607)772-7020. If possible, please include the pole number in your request.

Sanitation Division

What should I do if my Monday collection of yard waste is not picked up on that day?

Occasionally, if yard waste is particularly heavy, our crews are sometimes not able to complete the entire Citywide route on a given Monday.  If this occurs, please keep your yard waste at curbside, and our crews will collect it on Tuesday.  If for some reason it is still not collected by 4:00 PM Tuesday, please contact D.P.W. Administration, at (607) 772-7021.

What is considered garbage as opposed to "trash"?

Anything that fits in an official City Bag belongs in a City Bag and is considered garbage.  Anything too large or too heavy to go in a City Bag is considered trash.

Why do we have to use official City Bags for our garbage?

When recycling started in 1991, the City eliminated the tipping fee tax included on everyone's property tax bill that was based solely on assessment. Instead, the City went to the bag (user fee) system, which charges residents for the amount of garbage they actually generate. See City solid waste ordinance §350-21.

What is considered "yard waste" and what day is it collected?

Yard waste includes any and all parts of trees (including Christmas trees), shrubbery, grass, flowers, and similar organic waste.  Soil and stone are not considered yard waste, and are not collected.  Branches must be less than four (4) feet in length, less than four (4) inches in diameter, and must be bundled with string, twine or rope (no wire please).   The maximum weight for bundles is 50 pounds.  All other yard waste must be placed in an open top container no greater than 33 gallons; in compostable paper yard waste bags; or in untied black plastic yard waste bags. The maximum weight for each bag or container is 50 pounds.  No more than 8 containers and/or bags per property will be collected per week.   Raking leaves into the street or along the curb line is prohibited. Yard waste is collected Citywide every Monday, from March 6th, 2017, through December 4th, 2017, unless a listed holiday falls within that week. Additional collection days will be announced, as deemed necessary for Christmas tree collection or special unscheduled collections.

Is recycling really necessary and effective?

Most definitely.  Since the inception of the recycling program in 1990, over 130,000 tons of material has been diverted from the County Landfill, from the City of Binghamton alone.  This has saved the City over $5,000,000 in tipping fees.

Treasurer

When are School taxes due?

School taxes are levied on September 1st of each year.  A bill is mailed on September 1st of each year and is payable in three installments.

- Installment #1 is due in September.  If this installment is not paid by the last day of September, late and collection fees will be assessed. 
- Installment #2 is due in November.  If this installment is not paid by the last day of November, late and collection fees will be assessed. 
- Installment #3 is due in March.  If this installment is not paid by the last day of March, late and collection fees will be assessed.

When are City & County taxes due?

City & County taxes are levied on January 1st of each year.  A bill is mailed on January 1st of each year and is payable in two installments.  

- Installment #1 is due in January.  If this installment is not paid by the last day of January, late fees will be assessed. 
- Installment #2 is due in July.  If this installment is not paid by the last day of July, late fees will be assessed.

Where do I pay my Real Estate & School Taxes?

Real Estate and School Taxes are collected by Broome County.  

Walk-in payments at: 
Broome County Office Building
(directly across from City Hall)
2nd floor - Real Property Tax Dept
Monday-Friday 8:30-4:30 except holidays

Mail payments to: 
B.C. Receiver of Taxes
PO Box 2087
Binghamton, NY  13902-2087

Checks made payble to:  B.C. Receiver of Taxes

Who do I call if I have a question about my tax bill?

For assessment or exemption questions, or change of address issues you should call the City of Binghamton Assessor's Office at 607-772-7002.

For all other questions call the Broome County Tax Help Line at 607-778-2309.

Why can't the Water/Sewer bills go into the tenants name?

The Water/Sewer bills will roll to the City/County taxes if they are not paid. The owner is still responsible for the bill.

I did not receive the last bill, why should I have to pay the late fees?

It is the responsibility of the homeowner to know when their bills are due. We also put an ad in the newspaper around the 15th of the month stating if you did not receive a bill to contact our office.

Vital Statistics

Can I look at my sealed birth records?

No. Sealed records are not available. 

Why aren't these records available to the public?

Birth and death records are considered highly confidential, and to protect the identity and safety of those to whom the records belong, there are restrictions on who may obtain these records. For more information on who is legally authorized to obtain a birth or death record, visit theNew York State Department of Health website.

Does this office have birth and death records for all of Broome County?

No. The City of Binghamton only maintains records of births and deaths which have occurred within the City of Binghamton. For records of births and deaths which have occurred elsewhere in Broome County, please apply directly to the municipality in which the birth or death occurred.

Can I have access to any birth or record?

No. Birth and death records are considered highly confidential, and to protect the identity and safety of those to whom the records belong, there are restrictions on who may obtain these records. For more information on who is legally authorized to obtain a birth or death record, visit theNew York State Department of Health website.

Water/Sewer

Why is my water service getting shut off?

If you are a property owner you must pay your bill in full in order to prevent service shut off.  If you believe your meter reading is not accurate you should call the City Treasurer's Office on how to proceed.
If you believe you have a justifiable reason for non-payment of your water bill you may request a hearing on the matter pursuant to the City of Binghamton Code Section 405-52.C.  Please note that simply not having adequate funds is not a justifiable reason for non-payment.
Your request for a hearing must be in writing, sent by certified mail to the City Treasurer and be post-marked not less than five days prior to the shut off date listed in the notice.

What should I do if I have received notice that my water service will be shut off?

If you are a property owner you must pay your bill in full in order to prevent service shut off. If you believe your meter reading is not accurate you should call the City Treasurer's Office at (607)772-7027 on how to proceed.

If you believe you have a justifiable reason for non-payment of your water bill you may request a hearing on the matter pursuant to the City of Binghamton Code §405-52.C. Please note that simply not having adequate funds is not a justifiable reason for non-payment.

 

Your request for a hearing must be in writing, sent by certified mail to the City Treasurer and be post-marked not less than five days prior to the shut off date listed in the notice.

Does the City accept partial payments for water/sewer bills?

The City does accept partial payments for water/sewer bills. However, we also remind users that water service will be shut off if they fail to meet the aforementioned criteria.

How long do I have to pay my water/sewer bill?

The pay period is now 45 days from the date the bill is issued.

What should I do if I am a tenant and I have received notice that my water is going to be shut-off

If a landlord pays your water bill, you should contact them about payment of the building’s delinquent water bill. If you cannot reach your landlord, you are encouraged to contact a local service organization, such as the Department of Social Services or Volunteers of America. If you find yourself in this situation and you are a Binghamton University student, you are encouraged to contact the Office Campus College.

If you are a tenant and water service is included in your rent, you have the right to request a hearing on your own behalf to keep water service to the property. At the hearing you must be able to provide proof that:

1.) Your landlord is responsible for water bills, and

2.) Rent was paid to the landlord. 

If you are able to provide proof of this, the hearing officer can prevent service shut off to the property if you agree to be responsible for all future water bills for as long as you are a tenant at the property. A copy of future water bills will be sent to both the landlord and the tenant.

Pursuant to New York State Real Property Law §235-a if you are a tenant living in an apartment building containing three or more units and you pay for water service as part of your rent, you may avoid water shut off by the City by paying the delinquent water bill in full and deducting the bill from future rent.

If you are a tenant living in a single or two-family home and you pay for water service as part of your rent, you may wish to consult with private counsel on what legal remedies you have.

Why is my Water/Sewer bill so high (compared to normal), and can you reduce it?

We most often find this is due to a leaking toilet of which the homeowner is unaware. Our local law does not allow for water bill reductions in this situation.

My water smells like kerosene. What are you doing to it?

This is almost always due to painting, wood finishing or new carpeting.  It is the very small amount of chlorine dioxide in the water combining with the organic vapors from the new paint, varnish or carpet.

My water is (or was) rusty, is it safe to drink?

If it has cleared up, it is safe to drink. Even when rust colored, there is still residual chlorine, and the water is microbiologically safe, although not aesthetically acceptable. The concentration of iron necessary to impart color is small, and not a health concern.

How do I get my water turned off (and then back on) at the curb?

Make a request by calling the Water Billing Office at (607)772-7024.  There is a $50.00 fee for this service.

Is City water safe to drink? What do you test it for?

City water is tested throughout the day. It is safe to drink. See the reports and transparency section above for annual water quality reports.

My water pressure is low - why?

Often, it is because the City portion, or the private portion, or both portions of the service pipe is old galvanized steel that is badly corroded. Sometimes, it is because the house plumbing is inadequately sized, or also corroded galvanized steel. Otherwise, there are a number of possible reasons that we investigate.

Why do I have to pay a minimum bill when my water is shut off?

You pay a minimum bill for having a meter on the premises. If you have us remove the meter, you will not have to pay a bill.

Can I pay my bill with a credit card or online?

Water/Sewer bills can be paid with a credit card or electronic on-line at the Online Payments page. There is also payment kiosk installed on the 2nd floor of City Hall where you can use a credit card to pay water/sewer bills.