If each town has a total assessed value of $10 million it might seem reasonable that each town should contribute half, or $500,000.
But, more often than not, the market value of property in one town is worth more. Is it fair for property owners in less affluent towns to pay the same as owners with more valuable property?
The state does not believe so and tries to level the playing field.
If all the property in Guilderland has a total market value of $30 million and the total market value of Rotterdam's property is $20 million, the two towns have a combined market value of $50 million.
In this example, Guilderland's property, worth $30 million, is 60 percent of the total market value of all the property in both towns, and the market value of Rotterdam's property is 40 percent.
Using the $1 million tax levy in this example, Guilderland would contribute $600,000, or 60 percent, and Rotterdam would pay $400,000, or 40 percent, according to ORPS spokesman Joe Hesch.
"The equalization rate raised both towns to full value so they could be compared to each other," Hesch said. ""