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S. Col to follow suit on one-tier tax

South Colonie school officials are saying a change in the tax collecting system will be more equitable for residents in the long run.

As the Town of Colonie is changing from a two-tier to a one-tier tax system, the South Colonie Central School District is mandated to follow suit.

The North Colonie Central School District made the move voluntarily last year.

Anjelleeque Martinez, business manager and treasurer of the South Colonie Central School District said the tax rate for non-homestead, or business properties, has gone down in recent years and has gotten closer to the homestead, or homeowner, rates.

At the board's Tuesday, Dec. 1 meeting, she said taxable assessed value in the town has gone up $2 million, though.

Martinez said there is only an approximate $0.70 difference between the two property types, as the homestead value is at $23.75 per $1,000 of assessed value and non-homestead is at $24.49. She predicted that next year, non-homestead property will be assessed lower than homestead.

Beverly Miller, assistant superintendent for management services at South Colonie, said ten years ago, the town decided on a two-tier system to make taxing more equitable.

For the last couple of years their tax rate has declined, she said of the non-homestead properties. "We're trying to bring equity."

From 2007-2008 to 2008-2009, the non-homestead tax rate dropped 0.66 percent. In 2009-2010, non-homestead properties paid 4.39 percent less than the prior year.

Next year another decline is expected, she said.

The move too a one-tier system will not affect how much the district collects, but will allow the distribution to be more "equitable."

"It's not more money in our pocket, it's all from the same pie," Miller said.

The town made the move to a one-tier system in order to save residents from a tax increase over the next few years, according to the assessor's office.

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