Most Saratoga County property owners will be paying a little more — if just a tiny bit more — in county property taxes next year.
Local tax collectors are sending out more than 82,000 tax bills that reflect the penny-per-$1,000 average tax increase that is part of the 2014 county budget.
It is the third year in a row property taxes have increased, though Saratoga County’s taxes remain among the lowest in the state. The size of the increase has gotten smaller each year — 3.5 percent in 2012, 1.5 percent in 2013 and one penny — less than a half-percent — for the coming year.
Given that trend, Board of Supervisors Chairman Alan R. Grattidge, R-Charlton, said he’s optimistic no increase will be needed in 2015.
He said the pending sale of the county’s Maplewood Manor nursing home — which has been a multimillion dollar financial drain on the county for a decade — will allow the county to stabilize its financial condition.
For decades, he noted, sales tax growth and rising property values meant Saratoga County’s costs could be covered without rates having to rise. That changed, however, when sales tax revenue dropped during the 2008-2009 recession. Since then, sales tax revenue is rising again.
“As the economy improves and we see gains in the sales tax, I see our property tax being stabilized. We have addressed our major structural problems,” Grattidge said.
As occurred last year, the county tax bill will be broken onto two separate lines to show that the majority of the bill — 98 percent, by the county’s calculation — is needed to pay state-mandated costs such as Medicaid benefits and reimbursements to community colleges.
A tax bill in the town of Ballston, for instance, will say that only 3.5 cents of the $2.44 per $1,000 tax rate is to fund the county’s voluntary spending, while state mandates account for $2.41.
Under a “Truth in Taxation” law adopted by county supervisors in 2012, a notice also will be included with the bills explaining that many of the county’s costs are beyond its control.
The total amount collected from county property owners — the tax levy — will be $52.4 million, up from $51.6 million this year.
The average tax rate per $1,000 assessed value is rising from $2.27 to $2.28, but actual tax rates vary significantly from one community to another because of different practices that each uses to assess property.
Providence, for example, has higher rates than other towns because it never adopted full-value assessments.
Communities also gain or lose total property value compared to one another every year. Because of that, rates in a community can sometimes fall even if there’s a countywide increase.
Taxpayers will have until the end of January to pay their town tax collector before interest is imposed as a penalty. The penalty is 1 percentage point per month, starting in February.
These are the 2014 Saratoga County property tax rates:
BALLSTON: $2.44 per $1,000 assessed value, up from $2.40 in 2013. There are no townwide taxes, though most residents pay special district taxes for fire, ambulance, library, water and other services.
CHARLTON: $3.58, down from $3.65. No townwide taxes, though all residents pay a local fire protection tax .
CLIFTON PARK: $4.09, up from $4.08 per $1,000. No town general tax; highway, 20 cents; there are many special district taxes, from fire protection to park districts.
CORINTH: $2.42, down from $2.43. Town general, $1.92; highway, $1.37; special district taxes for fire protection, and in some areas for lighting and water.
DAY: $3.47, up from $3.46. No town general; highway, $2.10; also a fire protection tax .
EDINBURG: $4.22, up from $4.16. No town general; highway, $1.10; also a fire protection tax .
GALWAY: $4.28, up from $4.26. Town general, $1.09; highway, 33 cents; also fire protection districts.
GREENFIELD: $2.33, up from $2.31. No town general; highway, $1.83; also a fire protection district.
HADLEY: $3.07, up from $3.06. Town general, $2.23; highway, $3.24; also fire, ambulance and other special districts.
HALFMOON: $3.84, up from $3.80. No town general or highway tax; special districts for fire, library, water and sewer.
MALTA: $2.37, up from $2.36. Town general, 0.5-cent; no highway; taxes for library, fire protection, sewer, lighting and other special districts.
MECHANICVILLE: County tax rate $3.76, down from $3.64. City rates to be determined. Bills to be sent later than bills for residents of towns.
MILTON: $2.54, up from $2.53. Town general outside village, 49 cents; no highway; special districts for fire, ambulance, lighting, water and sewer.
MOREAU: $2.21 in South Glens Falls, down from $2.23; outside South Glens Falls, $1.45, down from $1.46. Town general, 55 cents; no highway tax; special districts for fire, library, water, sewer and lighting.
NORTHUMBERLAND: $2.54, up from $2.51. No town general; highway, $1.39; also special districts for ambulance and fire protection.
PROVIDENCE: $12.09, up from $11.51. Town general, $4.16; highway, $15.54; also fire protection tax.
TOWN of SARATOGA: $2.44, up from $2.43. Town general, $1.12; no highway; ambulance, fire and other special districts.
SARATOGA SPRINGS: County tax rate $2.97, up from $2.96. City rates to be determined. Bills to be sent later than bills for residents of towns.
STILLWATER: $2.54, down from $2.55. Town general, $1.08; highway outside village, $1.40; also library, fire, ambulance, water, sewer, lighting and other special districts.
WATERFORD: $6.67, down from $7.05. Town general, $11.80; special districts for fire, ambulance and lighting.
WILTON: $2.36, unchanged. No town general or highway; special districts for fire and ambulance.