COLONIE — The South Colonie School District Board of Education set the 2019-20 set tax rates for property owners which are lower than the projected 1.04 percent tax levy increase voters approved in May.
Based on a number of factors, including a final assessment role and equalization rates, the actual tax rates can change slightly from those projected when voters approve school district budgets. The state imposed 2 percent tax cap, when adjusted for specifics to the South Colonie district, was 1.18 percent.
South Colonie property owners in the Town of Colonie will see the tax rate increase by 0.43 percent, Guilderland property owners living in the South Colonie district will see a 23.84 percent tax rate decrease in 2019-20 as a result of a recently complete shift to full valuation, and Niskayuna property owners living in the district will see a 2.23 percent decrease in the school tax rate.
In Colonie, taxes represent $27.25 per $1,000 of assessed value and for property owners in Guilderland and Niskayuna it is $17.07 per $1,000 of assessed value.
The lower tax increases are the result of changes to final assessments and some redistribution of the tax levy due to changes in town equalization rates which are:
• Town of Colonie equalization rate declined from 64.25 percent to 62.50 percent
• Town of Guilderland equalization rate increased from 77.90 percent to 100 percent due to a recent full valuation.
• Town of Niskayuna equalization rate stayed the same at 100 percent
The equalization rate measures the relationship between the assessed value and the market value of properties within a town. When equalization rates change, the proportion of the tax levy allocated among the three towns also changes.
New York state sets the equalization rates for each town, not the school district. School districts have no legal authority to modify state equalization rates, assessments, or the tax rate calculation.
— Jim Franco