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Q&A: School Property Taxes

Updated September 2019

When should I expect my tax bill in the mail?
Your tax bill will be mailed on September 11, 2019.

When is the tax collection period?
The tax collection period for this year is September 11, 2019 to October 11, 2019, without payment of a penalty.

Where can I pay my taxes?
Payments should be mailed to:
School Tax Office, EGCSD, 29 Englewood Avenue, East Greenbush, NY  12061. If you choose to pay your taxes in person, you may do so at the Key Bank located at 615 Columbia Turnpike, East Greenbush (next to Crown Cleaners). This is the ONLY Key Bank collecting school taxes this year. Town of Schodack residents wishing to pay their taxes in person may do so at the Schodack Town Hall.

Can I pay my tax bill in installments?
No. Your tax bill must be paid in full, within the determined 30-day tax collection period, to avoid payment of a penalty.

Can I pay my tax bill using a credit card?
No. Credit cards cannot be used to pay your tax bill. Acceptable methods of payment are cash, personal check, bankers check, or money order.

Will I be charged a fee if I pay my taxes late?
Yes. Tax bills paid between October 12, 2019 and October 31, 2019 are subject to a penalty of 2 percent. Taxes paid November 1 or later are subject to an additional penalty of 7 percent.

Where can I pay my tax bill after the tax collection period ends?
Taxes paid between October 12 and October 31, 2019 are subject to a 2 percent penalty and should be paid in person or mailed to:
Tax Collector, East Greenbush Central School District, 29 Englewood Avenue, East Greenbush, NY 12061. Town of Schodack residents are required to pay their taxes to the Schodack Town Hall. In November, any unpaid school taxes and penalties are turned over to the Rensselaer County Bureau of Tax Services and are subject to an additional 7 percent penalty. The Rensselaer County Bureau of Finance may be contacted at 518-270-2755.

What should I do if I find an error or missing exemption on my tax bill?
If the error relates to the property assessment or exemption amounts, please contact the town assessor first. If you feel a mistake was made by the District tax office, you may contact that office at 518-207-2542.

Tax Levy

What is the tax levy?
The tax levy is the total amount of money needed to be raised from local taxes to fund the East Greenbush Central School District budget after state aid and other revenue sources are taken into account.

What is the change in the tax levy for 2019-2020?
The tax levy for 2019-2020 is 3.69 percent higher than the tax levy for 2018-2019.

What measures are being undertaken by the Board to reduce the tax burden for residents?
 In April 2019, the Board of Education adopted a budget for the 2019-2020 school year with a tax levy increase below the State calculated property tax cap. School district voters approved the proposed budget on May 21, 2019.

Tax Rates

Is the tax rate the same as the tax levy?
No, the tax rate differs from the tax levy, and several factors go into determining the tax rate. In calculating the tax rate, the tax levy is divided between the six towns located within the East Greenbush Central School District using state formulas. These formulas take into account full values, assessed values and equalization rates, all of which are used to determine the tax rate.

What does the Board do to mitigate the increase in tax rates for homeowners?
For 34 years the Board of Education has adopted two classes of tax rates:
homestead rates, and non-homestead rates. The District applies homestead rates to residential property and non-homestead rates to commercial property. This dual-class system of tax rates provides homeowners with a savings of between 4 to 9 percent, versus a single tax rate system. This savings would not exist if a single tax rate was used. The Board must adopt a resolution each year in August in order to provide this savings to homeowners.

Assessments

Who determines the assessed value of my property?
Each town has an assessor who is responsible for determining the assessed values for properties within that town. Questions regarding town equalization rates and individual property assessments should be addressed directly to your town assessor. The phone number of the office of the assessor for each town within the EGCSD is listed below.

Chatham 518-392-2550
East Greenbush 518-477-9710
Nassau 518-766-2343
North Greenbush 518-283-6175
Sand Lake 518-674-2026 ext. 24
Schodack518-477-7932

What is Full Value?
The full value (also called market value) is what your property would sell for under normal conditions. For residential properties, your assessor generally determines market values by comparing your property with similar properties that have sold in similar neighborhoods, giving consideration to other factors possibly affecting market value.

What is Assessed Value?
The assessed value is the assessor’s opinion of your parcel’s current market value (full value) multiplied by the uniform percentage of value used in your town. Assessed values are used along with the tax rate to compute the tax due for a particular property, before exemptions.

What is an Equalization Rate?
Equalization rates are determined by the State and represent the overall ratio of a municipality’s total assessed value to the municipality’s total property market value.  
Equalization rates are used in apportioning property taxes among municipal segments of school districts. In order for a school district to fairly distribute its property tax levy, the levy needs to be divided in proportion to the total market value of each municipality or municipal segment. This allows for an equitable distribution of taxes based upon the market value of each municipality.

STAR Program

What is the STAR program?
The School Tax Relief (STAR) program provides eligible homeowners in New York State with relief on their property taxes.  If you’re a STAR recipient, you receive the benefit in one of two ways:

  • STAR credit program (open to any eligible homeowner whose income is $500,000 or less) – you receive a check in the mail from the Tax Department to apply to your school taxes
  • STAR exemption program (now closed to new applicants) – you receive a direct reduction on your school tax bill in the form of a property tax exemption

There are two types of STAR property tax exemptions:

  • The Basic STAR exemption is available for owner-occupied, primary residences where the homeowners’ income is under $250,000. Basic STAR works by exempting a portion of the full value of a home from school taxes. 
  • The Enhanced STAR exemption is available for the primary residences of senior citizens (age 65 and older) with yearly household incomes not exceeding a state-wide standard. For qualifying senior citizens, the Enhanced STAR program provides additional savings by exempting a greater portion of full value from school taxes.  Enhanced STAR recipients are now required to enroll in the Income Verification Program with the local assessor.

Where do I see how much STAR is saving me in tax dollars?
STAR as a property tax exemption will see the savings on their school property tax bill. Individuals receiving STAR as a credit will see the savings in the form of a refund check.

What are the maximum values of the Basic and Enhanced STAR exemptions?
The maximum values allowed for the Basic and Enhanced STAR Exemption differ from town to town. Below is a list of maximum STAR values by town for the 2019-2020 school year.

TownBasic STAR Tax SavingsEnhanced STAR Tax Savings
Chatham $554$1,169
East Greenbush $517.65$1,141
Nassau $523$1,148
North Greenbush $543$1,132
Sand Lake $542$1,151
Schodack$534$1,123

Where can I find more information on the STAR program?
More information about the new STAR program is posted on the Department of Taxation and Finance website at www.tax.ny.gov or call 518-457-2036. 

Other Exemptions

What other exemptions does the District offer to reduce my tax bill?
There are several exemptions listed below and available within the EGCSD that exist to provide tax relief to homeowners. Not every school district has these exemptions, and all are subject to Board of Education approval.

  • Senior Citizens
  • Persons with Disabilities and Limited Incomes
  • Alternative Veterans Exemption
  • Cold War Veterans Exemption
  • Eligible Funds Exemption
  • Accessibility, Section 459-a

Please visit the Tax Exemptions page on the District’s website for more information on school tax exemptions or visit your local town assessor’s office.