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BC sets new tax rates

The Bethlehem Central School District has finalized the tax rates property owners will be charged in the 2011-12 school year.

Property owners in Bethlehem will see their rates rise to $20.1059 per $1,000 of assessed property value, an increase of 2.34 percent. In New Scotland, the rate will rise to $20.3151 per $1,000 of assessed property value, which is a 0.22 percent increase.

The owner of a $250,000 house in Bethlehem would pay $115 more in property taxes, and the owner of the same valued house in New Scotland would pay $11 more.

The rates are about five cents higher in both towns than the district anticipated at the time of the May budget vote. Schools don't have actual tax rates at the budget vote in May because the state has not yet set its equalization rates, which can have an effect on how different communities are taxed. Assessments can also change during this time, shifting the tax picture.

The tax levy increase of 2 percent approved by voters still stands. Next year's school budget will be $86.8 million, which is about $1.5 million less than the 2010-11 budget.

Tax bills are to be mailed on Labor Day, and are due back without penalty by Sept. 30. Homeowners are reminded to look into the state's school tax relief (STAR) program as soon as possible to see if they can have their tax bill adjusted. Visit www.orps.state.ny.us/star for more information."

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