Saratoga Springs school, city attorneys trying to resolve tax issue

Saratoga Springs City School District sign

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Saratoga Springs City School District and city are discussing how to resolve a taxing error that could short the school district by over $200,000. 

In 2021, Quad Graphics entered into a Payment in Lieu of Taxes agreement with the city and school district that would have removed it from the 2022 city tax roll and exempt it from the district’s 2022 tax levy and instead require the company to pay approximately $217,000 for the current school year. 

However, the company wasn’t removed from the 2022 tax roll, essentially causing the district to account for them twice in the taxing process — once under the levy for around $229,000 and again for the PILOT agreement. 

By the time the district discovered the error Quad had already paid the first installment of the 2022 school tax bill, according to a court proceeding the school district filed against the city. 

“If Quad is included and they pay the tax bill, who pays the PILOT amount that’s also budgeted as part of the tax levy,” said Eleanor K. Mullaney, the district’s attorney. 

Mullaney said the court filing is just a way of preserving the district’s rights should it choose to proceed with a lawsuit in court. 

But the goal is to resolve the issue outside of the courtroom, she said. 

“We’re waiting to hear back from them on some issues and we’re going to continue our conversations to come up with a resolution,” she said. 

However, she said it’s too early to comment on what the resolution may be, but hopes to have it resolved for the next budget vote in May. 

Mullaney also said the district does not want to redo its tax bills, one of the solutions should the city not pay or isn’t ordered to pay the PILOT agreement amount. 

“To reissue bills, it just would have been very problematic for the taxpayers, who would then get a new bill. Some of those bills are paid through bank escrows and some people pay them directly. It would’ve been a huge burden on the taxpayer and on the district,” she said. 

City Attorney Anthony Izzo said the city’s stance is that it only needs to fix the error and “there hasn’t been any loss, it’s just a matter of correcting the roll.”

“There’s a little bit of a difference there between the two parties,” he said. “It’s a matter of finding some common ground we agree on and then maybe a resolution to correct the roll.”

Categories: News, News, Saratoga County, Saratoga Springs

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