Tax burden shifts

With those figures in hand, the approved budget passed with a 5.94 percent residential property tax increase and a 5.96 percent increases for commercial properties. The spike in residential assessments nearly doubled the approved rate at 10.96 percent. Commercial property tax rates came back at 1.18 percent, nearly five percent less than the approved commercial tax rate.

The shift left the district's revenue line for this year's budget $2.7 million less than anticipated.

The district's game plan " which it set in action on Monday " offsets increases with $1.7 million, ultimately lowering the overall tax levy and with it, taxes rates. The remaining $1 million difference is to be raised through taxes.

The school will allocate $500,000 in interest rate revenue, $200,000 in state aid and $1 million from its reserve fund to reduce the tax levy from $59,406,617 to $57,706,617. The new levy will call for residential properties to pay a 7.78 percent tax rate increase and commercial properties to pay a 1.72 percent increase.

Residential assessments in Colonie have been on a steady increase over the last several years, according to town officials. New developments and improvements to homes drove the residential assessment increases. There are a number of factors responsible for the town-wide decrease in commercial assessments, said Chris Semon, town assessor. He made note of recent actions that reduced some properties in the town well into the millions.

One such property, the Latham Shopping Center had its assessment lowered by $13 million to a total assessment of $26 million, after settling a tax certiorari case with the town, Semon said.

North Colonie's approved budget will go unchanged as far as services and added programs it made as a result of last year's revenues. It has always remained a goal to keep the district taxes at a minimum, said Randy Ehrenberg, district superintendent. But, this time officials and board members' hands were tied, she said.

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