Yes. Homeowners can receive property tax exemptions under the School Tax Relief (STAR) program. Under state law, STAR exemptions can now grow by only 2 percent per year.
The Basic STAR exemption is available on a homeowner’s primary residence for anyone who owns and lives in his/her own home and earns less than $500,000 a year.
The Enhanced STAR exemption is available on the primary residence of taxpayers age 65 and older with yearly incomes below $86,000.
BH-BL residents over the age of 65 with incomes of $37,400 or less also can be exempted from paying school taxes on 5 to 50 percent of their home’s assessed value depending on their exact income. The district also grants a disability exemption, ranging from 5 to 50 percent, for qualifying residents of any age with disabilities and incomes of less than $37,400.
In February 2017, the board adopted the Alternative Veterans’ Tax Exemption at level 1, which allows qualifying veterans to be exempted from paying school taxes on a portion of their home’s assessed value depending on their military service.
Applications for these district exemptions and for state STAR exemptions must have been filed with your town assessor’s office by March 1, 2017. Call your town assessor or visit your town’s website if you have questions about STAR or other exemptions.
The 2017-18 budget of $65,492,019 is 2.48 percent higher than the current year’s budget. Given the state aid BH-BL will receive and other revenue sources, the overall property tax levy will increase 1.96 percent in order to balance the proposed budget.
Calculating tax rate increases is complicated by the fact that the BH-BL district is made up of parts of four towns—Glenville, Charlton, Ballston Lake, and Clifton Park.
Each year, tax rate increases vary from town to town due to equalization rates that the New York State Office of Real Property Services (ORPS) announces in August.
As the name implies, equalization rates are intended to spread the tax burden across the four towns as fairly as possible. The rates attempt to “equalize” or compensate for differing assessment practices, for the fact that one town’s assessments may be more recent than the other towns’, and for the fact that property values don’t change equally in all towns within the school district.
For instance, if ORPS determines that property values have risen more in one town than another in the past year, the tax increase in that town may be somewhat higher than the estimated 1.58 percent average for 2017-18, while the rate in another town may be lower than the average.
Equalization rates are typically not shared with school
districts until August. Equalization rate differences tend to
even out over several years, but they make it impossible to
predict actual tax rate increases in each town.
The school district plays no role in determining what portion of the tax burden is placed on any one town or any one property owner.
The state ORPS office sets equalization rates that determine the portion of the total tax levy paid by each town, and the assessor in each town calculates individual assessments that determine how much is paid by each property owner.