Schenectady County

‘One-time tax’ to cost residents less than $250

The “one-time deficit tax” that most residents would pay to help bridge the town’s financial gap wil
PHOTOGRAPHER:

The “one-time deficit tax” that most residents would pay to help bridge the town’s financial gap will be less than $250, according to a town proposal that is now before the state Legislature.

Town officials said that approximately 90 percent of homeowners would pay under $250 and the average levy would be $155.

Commercial property owners would pay an average of $533.70.

The proposal to charge town residents a one-time tax must be approved by the state Legislature.

The town has proposed the tax to help reduce a $18 million budget gap discovered by town officials and an audit by the state Comptroller’s office.

“It’s not a decision I’ve taken lightly to pursue the one-time deficit reduction tax, but this solution, when combined with the aggressive cost-cutting measures and new revenue sources, will enable us to get the town back on its feet,” town Supervisor Paula Mahan said Friday.

Mahan first announced the possibility of a one-time deficit tax a couple months ago. At the time she said most residents would pay an average of $250.

Other cost-cutting measures in town, including the sale of Heritage Park to Albany County, a freeze on hiring and revenues from the landfill allowed the town to reduce this amount by $95.

If approved by the Legislature before the end of its session, the town could collect the tax in October.

Anytime there is a request for an impact on the municipality the Town Board must approve it with the home rule message, which is a request for the Legislature to take action .

The Democratic-controlled Town Board approved it on Thursday by a 4-3 vote.

But town Republicans have opposed the plan and said it would be best to bridge the deficit with a minimal tax increase.

Peter Gannon, the town’s chief of operations, said the town will know by June 23, when the Legislative session ends for the summer, if the bill is passed.

If the Legislature does not pass it, the town has an alternative plan to pursue it in January as part of the regular town tax bills.

The rates are based on the full taxable value of a property.

According to figures released by the town the rates are:

u Outside the village: Residential homes $1.27 per $1,000 and a cap of $500.

u Commercial: $1.64 per $1,000 and a cap of $7,500 for those with a value between $4.5 million and $49.9 million and a cap of $15,000 for those valued at more than $49.9 million.

u Inside the village: Residential, $1.15 per $1,000 value, with a cap of $500.

u Commercial: $1.36 per $1,000 value with the same caps as commercial outside the village.

The average residential townwide would be $155.04; average residential village is $130.68.

Average commercial parcel: $533.70.

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