Guilderland Central Schools will now be contracting out its tax collection, following several other school districts in the area.
Bethlehem Central and Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Central School District both made the switch last year, after the Town of Bethlehem announced it would no longer be collecting taxes on behalf of the districts. This is following the decision to consolidate the departments of town clerk and receiver of taxes.
Guilderland will now contract with BOCES to collect taxes, like the other school districts.
The district’s Assistant Superintendent for Business Neil Sanders said using BOCES is cheaper than if the district were to contract it out with a private company. The change will be cost neutral.
“From our perspective, there was no detriment,” said Sanders. “BOCES (has) a tax collection service, and this has been successful for the town last year.”
Those who wish to make payments in person at a local bank can still do so. Residents can use Capital Bank in Price Chopper Plaza in Slingerlands. Another alternative is to mail payments into Capital Region BOCES.
Sanders said he felt the change has been a transparent process. “It’s been as seamless as possible for a transition like this,” he continued.
Supervisor John Clarkson said he felt the process is more efficient. “Schools won’t have to deal with multiple towns, and for us we consolidated, which was much better to keep down costs.”
When the change was made last year, Bethlehem Central was set to see a savings of about $32,000 because the district would no longer have to pay the town for the service. It was to see more savings this year because the state will provide some reimbursement for using BOCES services.
The town will see savings because they will not have to pay overtime to employees who previously did the billing or transfer personnel from other departments. The town will also be able to better use the time of employees. With reduction of one employee, the town expects a continued annual savings of $90,000.