COLONIE: Town seeks tax shift cap

Doing away with the two-tier system is still an idea being tossed around, said Steve Zautner, treasurer and purchasing agent for the North Colonie School District. Board of education members will discuss dropping the system when they put together the 2007-2008 budget numbers in late August, he said. The 1 percent cap on proportion shifts will come into play then.

"For years it's (the base proportion shift) gone up and down a little bit and altered back and forth. Lately it has shifted to the homestead taxpayers. In 2007-2008, estimates look like the rates (commercial and residential) may be the same," said Zautner.

Even though the rates will be close to equal next year, Zautner said the 1 percent cap on any proportional shift will help to decreases residential rates and slow continued decreases in the commercial levy.

North Colonie officials are anticipating a shift in the base proportion from this year's tax levy to the 2007-2008 budget to account for a more than 6 percent increase in the residential levy and a decrease of 5 percent for commercial.

Semon warns against doing away with the two-tier tax system, a system that is rarely used statewide, because it is designed to benefit residential taxpayers, he said.

Semon said that despite the fact that the residential and commercial rates are closing in on each other for next year's budget numbers, the fact remains that year to year, the proportions will continue to shift. Having the home rule option to cap that shift at 1 percent would be the best option to curb steep increases or decreases, he said. ""

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