BH-BL OKs levy

The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake School Board approved a tax levy of $27.9 million at its Aug. 8 meeting.

The amount is the same as estimated in May before a public vote on the school budget, which was passed at $46.9 million.

Spokeswoman for the school district Christy Multer said school taxes were complicated this year because the district is made up of parts of four towns. The towns of Ballston and Glenville reassessed this year, while the towns of Clifton Park and Charlton did not.

Assistant superintendent Jacqueline St. Onge said, Ballston and Glenville residents were nervous when many of their property values increased by 50 percent or more, but when that happens, school tax rates typically decline.

Multer said many residents were using last year's tax rates to determine how much they would be spending this year, but because the tax burden has to be spread equally among the four towns, the tax rates change.

Ballston residents will pay school taxes at a rate of $17.85 per $1,000 of assessed value, down from $22.32 in 2005. Glenville residents will also pay taxes at a rate of $17.85 per $1,000 of assessed value down from $27.14 last year.

In Charlton and Clifton Park, property values were not reassessed. School tax rates for residents in Charlton will rise by 5.8 percent over last year's rates to $21.25, and 7.4 percent for Clifton Park residents to $29.76.

The school district doesn't play a role in determining how much of the tax burden is placed on a town or property owner. The state Office of Real Property Services announces equalization rates in August. These rates are intended to spread the tax burden as fairly as possible between the towns in a district. Each town's assessor is responsible for determining how much a property is worth, which determines the amount of taxes that a property owner pays.

This year's $46.9 million budget is funded through 37.1 percent state aid and 59.5 percent property taxes.

The school board authorized the district's tax collector to collect $23.2 million from local residents at its Aug. 22 meeting. The remaining $4.8 million will come from the School Tax Relief (STAR) program.

Tax bills will be sent out by Sept. 1. Residents have until October to pay the bill or pay a penalty. ""

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