The Board of Education approved final tax rates based on a 1.04 percent tax levy increase for South Colonie property owners for the 2019-20 school year at its meeting on Aug. 20.
The school tax levy increase is the same as projected when residents approved the 2019-20 district budget on May 21, and is below the tax levy limit (tax cap) of 1.18 percent.
Based on final assessments, the tax rates for each town are lower than the 1.04 percent tax levy increase. 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 64.25 percent to 62.50 percent
- Town of Guilderland equalization rate increased from 77.90 percent to 100 percent due to a recent full valuation in the Town of Guilderland
- 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 by 0.43 percent, Guilderland property owners living in the South Colonie district will see a 23.84 percent tax rate decrease in 2019-20 as a result of the full valuation in the Town of Guilderland, and Niskayuna property owners living in the district will see a 2.23 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 ($27.25), Town of Guilderland ($17.07), and Town of Niskayuna ($17.07).