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Nisky taxes increase less than projected

Niskayuna Central School District's tax rate increase for next year will be slightly less than predicted when presented to voters, but that good news is tempered by a decrease in the STAR exemption.

Superintendent of Schools Kevin S. Baughman announced last week that Niskayuna residents of the district will see their tax rate increase 6.17 percent, from $26.02 per thousand to $27.63.

The announced increase is less than the 6.59 percent increase that district officials had estimated in May. The decrease is a result of changes in assessments and equalization rates, according to Baughman.

It is common for final tax rates to be lower than initial projections because the district tries to be conservative with its tax rate estimates, said Baughman.

Our goal each year when we deliver the budget is to estimate a slightly higher tax rate than we intend to seek, Baughman said. "We try to be conservative with our estimates so we don't have to go back and raise taxes."

The STAR exemption decreased from $24,440 to $23,220 due to a drop in the Niskayuna equalization rate.

A Niskayuna resident who owns a home assessed for $140,000 will pay school taxes of $3,867.78, an increase of $224.63. If the home-owner applied for the basic STAR exemption ($23,220 in 2006-2007), the assessment would be lowered from $140,000 to $116,780. That would lower the school tax on the property to $3,226.28.

Glenville residents will experience a large drop in their tax rate because the town of Glenville just completed a town wide re-evaluation of property.

As a result of the re-evaluation, Glenville homeowners will see their tax rate decrease from $25.04 to $16.63 per thousand of assessed value.

Also, Glenville residents with a basic STAR exemption will get slightly more relief, with the exemption increasing from $26,110 to $30,000.""

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