Hearing slated on mortgage tax increase

Montgomery County lawmakers on Tuesday essentially killed a proposal to lease a new county office bu

Montgomery County lawmakers on Tuesday essentially killed a proposal to lease a new county office building.

Supervisors also set a public hearing on a proposed local law that would increase revenue generated by the tax on mortgage filings.

A hearing was set for April 22 in the county office building on Broadway in Fonda to hear public input on the proposal to increase the mortgage recording tax from the current $7.50 per $1,000 of a mortgage’s value to $12.50 per $1,000.

County Treasurer Shawn Bowerman said increasing the current mortgage recording tax would create additional revenue ranging from $300,000 to $500,000 annually. Bowerman said the revenue would depend on the level of activity in the housing market. Under the current situation in which fewer people are buying homes, he said, the estimate for revenue would likely be closer to $300,000.

Revenues transferred to the state and municipalities where the property transfers take place peaked to about $772,000 in 2006, with a low of $318,000 distributed in 2000, Bowerman said. Montgomery County distributed $742,000 in mortgage recording taxes in 2007, Bowerman said.

Currently, Albany and Schenectady counties collect $12.50 per $1,000 of a mortgage’s value. Schoharie, Saratoga and Fulton counties collect $10 per $1,000 in mortgage tax, according to tax forms from the state Department of Taxation and Finance.

Supervisors cautioned that their action doesn’t yet create the new tax, but sets in motion a request that the state Legislature consider approving the change for Montgomery County.

The supervisors continued discussion on leasing a county office building before supervisors Thomas DiMezza and Barbara Johnson withdrew their sponsorship of the resolution.

The board held a special meeting last week to discuss the resolution to spend $1.1 million annually to lease a new county office complex. Supporters want to relieve a space shortage in the county’s Social Services office at the county building on Broadway in Fonda and provide for more parking space.

The proposal was to lease a new building, not to exceed 91,000 square feet. Several buildings are currently used for county offices, including the annex building on Park Street in Fonda. That building is old and took on several feet of floodwater in 2006, but no studies on renovating the building have been done, which is something a number of supervisors had sought before committing to leasing new office space.

Supervisors agreed to continue researching options and ways to address office needs. But for now, the leasing proposal has been taken off the table.

“I think the study should go forward,” Glen Supervisor John Thomas said.

Categories: Schenectady County

Leave a Reply