South Colonie tax rate higher than expected

According to Miller, "Because the voters vote on a dollar amount instead of a tax rate, basically the whole levy is like a pie and the formula that's used to calculate what each taxing entity is charged is similar to dividing up a pie."

The pie Miller refers to is actually made up of the South Colonie Central School District and portions of Niskayuna and Guilderland.

In addition to the commercial properties winning more certiorari lawsuits this year, Niskayuna has changed their own tax rates by going to full-value assessments.

At the end of the day, homeowners end up paying more than commercial property owners.

"The residents are the homestead, so therefore their proportion went up higher than we originally calculated. We do not receive any of this information before August," Miller said.

While the district is somewhat left in the dark until August on whether their tax rates will come out to be what was originally projected, one parent in the district said many residents are also unaware of what is going on with the tax rate even after it is decided on in August.

Jeff Zelka, a South Colonie resident and parent-teacher association vice president at Sand Creek Middle School, said he had attended a summer leadership program in the district, and spent some time learning about tax rates.

"I don't think the parents know enough about it, and that was part of the workshop," he said. "They don't know how it's going to affect them yet."

Zelka said he plans to spend some time with other parents in the district explaining what he has learned and hopefully helping them to understand what it all means.""

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