Guilderland school taxes set

The Guilderland Central School District announced that it will be able to set its tax rate below its initial projections at the May budget vote, although they will be generating the same revenue regardless of what the rate is.

This is the third year in a row the district was able to set the tax rate below its initial projection, according to a written statement from the school board.

In a time of rising costs, we are especially pleased to be able to set a tax rate increase of less than 1.2 percent for the vast majority of district residents, said Assistant Superintendent for Business Neil Sanders.

Rising property value assessments in Guilderland were the primary reason the district was able to lower the final tax rate.

The revenue the district generates depends on the tax rate, and how much each property is assessed at. The more a property is assessed at, the more an individual will pay in property tax.

During the preparation for the 2008-2009 budget, the district expected an increase in assessments in Guilderland of close to $10 million. In mid-August, when tax rates were completed, it was determined that the increase in assessments during last year was actually more than $17 million, according to information provided by the board.

Sanders said at the time the budget was discussed, the assessor's office did not have the final assessment numbers available.

Sanders explained, though, that the school district is not going to collect any more or less money as a result of the decreased tax rate. The district will generate the $56 million it needs to operate regardless of what the increase in assessment value is, or the tax rate.

He said the reason for the increased assessment value is primarily due to the additional properties in the town being assessed. This broadens the tax base, but ultimately does not lower individuals' taxes.

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