GloFo tax means negative cap for B-Spa

— In the Ballston Spa Central School District, a massive influx of tax money means the state’s property tax cap is calling the district to dial back taxes.

Ballston Spa would need to trim $1 million from its 2012-13 budget to bring its taxes down to the level of the tax cap. The budget proposal at the moment stands at $76.4 million, a 4.8 percent increase from this year’s. The rise is due in no small part to rising retirement contributions and health care costs.

Though it’s a larger budget, the rollover program would drop the tax levy by 0.4 percent.

A big the reason for the situation is the Ballston Spa receivedan $8.5 million payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) payment from GlobalFoundries. A payment of the same will be given to the district next year as well, according to Stuart Williams, coordinator of community relations for the district.

Beyond next year, future payments are less certain.

“(We) can’t estimate anything going out because the tax rate will change,” said Williams.

“This is the top year for revenue from GlobalFoundries. … It will be going down from here, every year,” said Superintendent Joseph Dragone.

That $8.5 million helps to offset decreases in state aid and increases in expenses, but also affects the formula used for calculating the district’s tax levy limit under the state property tax cap.

The district’s tax levy limit is -2.87 percent. Most other districts fall in between 2 and 3percent, though in Harford and Hudson Falls the limits are 11.6 and 7.1 percent, respectively. Stillwater, which also receives GlobalFoundries taxes, is in a similar position with a tax levy limit of -4.5 percent.

If the district wishes to pass a budget that does not lower taxes by at least 2.87 percent, then at least 60 percent of voters must approve of it on May 15.

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