Schenectady County

Niskayuna school district towns seeing vastly different tax rates

Residents of the Niskayuna Central School District in the towns of Glenville and Clifton Park may ge

Residents of the Niskayuna Central School District in the towns of Glenville and Clifton Park may get sticker shock when they open their tax bills.

The tax rate for Glenville residents is going up roughly 8 percent; for Clifton Park residents, it’s going up 10 percent. The increase is because of different property assessments in those towns.

District voters in May approved a $75.3 million budget that increased the tax levy by the state-mandated limit of 3.29 percent. However, the difference in the assessed value of property in the four towns in the district affects the portion of the tax burden borne by the residents in the individual towns.

The homestead tax rate for Niskayuna is increasing 2 percent, to $17.82 per $1,000 of assessed value. In Glenville, it is increasing 8.3 percent, to $20.72; Colonie’s rate is going up 6.3 percent, to $27.96; and Clifton Park will see an increase of up 9.9 percent, to $33.09.

For the average Niskayuna home assessed at $250,000, taxes would increase by $87, to $4,455. That is about $56 lower than what district officials projected in May.

Assistant Superintendent for Business Matt Bourgeois said other towns are not assessing properties at full market value. In Clifton Park, properties are currently assessed at about 58 percent of market value. That means for a house assessed at $250,000 in Niskayuna, a comparable house in Clifton Park would be assessed at $145,000, which makes the rate almost double that of Niskayuna.

“It’s a higher rate applied to an assessment that’s half the market value,” said Board of Education member Barbara Mauro.

The taxes on that $145,000 house would go up about $434, to $4,799.

Glenville is assessing properties at 92 percent of market value. For a comparable house assessed at $230,000, taxes would go up $366, to $4,766.

Colonie properties are assessed at 70 percent of value. Taxes on a comparable, $175,000 house would increase by roughly $292, to $4,893.

Commercial properties are taxed at a higher rate. Non-homestead rates are $23.38 per $1,000 for Niskayuna, $27.11 for Glenville, $37.83 for Colonie and $43 for Clifton Park.

Another complication is the STAR exemption program. Last year, the state capped the amount of savings from the exemption to no more than a 2 percent increase. That means that if a resident’s exemption savings was $600 last year, this year’s exemption could be no greater than $612 — regardless of how much taxes increased, according to the state Office of Real Property Tax Services.

Tax bills will be mailed out Sept. 1 and are due by Sept. 30.

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