At its Aug. 21 meeting, the Board of Education approved final tax rates based on a 2.66 percent tax levy increase for South Colonie property owners for the 2018-19 school year.
This school property increase is slightly lower than projected when residents approved the 2018-19 district budget on May 15. The proposed budget, at that time, carried a projected overall tax levy increase of 2.95 percent to fund education. The final tax levy increase was lowered to 2.66 percent. The district was able to apply an additional $200,000 in fund balance to lower the overall tax levy.
In addition to changes in final assessments, there was some redistribution of the tax levy due to changes in town equalization rates:
- Town of Colonie equalization rate declined from 66.50 percent to 64.25 percent
- Town of Guilderland equalization rate increased from 75.58 percent to 77.90 percent
- Town of Niskayuna equalization rate stayed the same at 100 percent
The equalization rate measures the relationship between the assessed value and the market value of properties within a town. When equalization rates change, the proportion of the tax levy allocated among the three towns also changes. It is important to understand that New York State sets the equalization rates for each town, not the school district. School districts have no legal authority to modify state equalization rates, assessments, or the tax rate calculation.
As a result, South Colonie property owners in the Town of Colonie will see the tax rate increase 2.11 percent, Guilderland property owners living in the South Colonie district will see a 4.17 percent tax rate decrease in 2018-19, and Niskayuna property owners living in the district will see a 1.23 percent decrease in the school tax rate.
The district’s new tax rates per $1,000 of assessed value are as follows: Town of Colonie ($27.13), Town of Guilderland ($22.42), and Town of Niskayuna ($17.46).