Online Access to Tax Bills
Residents of the Guilderland Central School District can look up their school tax bill online. Follow the link below:
Tax Levy Numbers
With all the talk of New York’s “2 percent tax cap,” it may come as a surprise to learn that each school district presents three separate tax levy numbers every year in order to comply with the law. Chances are good that none of those numbers will be exactly 2 percent, too. Learn about the three tax levy numbers.
Understanding the property tax levy cap and why the tax levy can increase by more than two percent.
New York’s property tax levy “cap” has often been referred to as a “2 percent cap” on taxes by some politicians and the media. However, this is incorrect. The law does not restrict any proposed tax levy increase to 2 percent—or any other amount. Instead, the legislation requires each school district in the state to calculate its own “tax levy limit” to determine what level of voter support is necessary for budget approval. The figure “2 percent” (or the rate of inflation, if less) is just one of eight variables that factor into each district’s calculation of its individual tax levy limit as prescribed by law. If the tax levy increase is above the tax levy limit—after accounting for exemptions—the support of a supermajority (60 percent) of voters would be required for budget passage. If the levy is within the limit, a simple majority (50 percent + 1) is needed for budget approval.
DEFINITION: The tax levy is the total dollars that a school district raises from property owners within the district in order to balance its budget. The levy is determined after accounting for all other sources of income, including state aid.
DEFINITION: The tax rate is used to calculate what each property owner will pay in school taxes based on assessed value.
Essentially, the “tax levy limit” sets a threshold that, if exceeded, requires districts to obtain a higher level of community support to pass a proposed budget. However, the legislation does not place a limit on the taxes a school district could levy to pay for expenses related to specific “excluded” items, including some court orders, some pension costs and local capital expenditures. The costs of these excluded items are added to the “tax levy limit” to come up with the “allowable tax levy” limit. The calculation recognizes that due to their nature, certain expenses should not be subject to a capped CPI-based growth index as our other expenses are capped.
It is important to note that:
• Tax levy limits will vary by school district;
• The new law does not limit an individual’s tax bill.
Property Tax Exemptions
Property tax exemption rates for the 2018-19 school year
To apply for any of the school tax relief programs listed below, residents should contact their town assessor’s office for more information. The deadline has passed for new applications.
Exemption for residents older than age 65 as well as for property owners with disabilities and limited income
Guilderland Central School District offers a property tax exemption for residents older than age 65 as well as for property owners with disabilities and limited income (continuation of existing policy).
Annual Income: Percentage of Assessed Valuation Exempt from Taxation
- $29,000 or less: 50%
- More than $29,000 but less than $30,000: 45%
- $30,000 or more but less than $31,000: 40%
- $31,000 or more but less than $32,000: 35%
- $32,000 or more but less than $32,900: 30%
- $32,900 or more but less than $33,800: 25%
- $33,800 or more but less than $34,700: 20%
- $34,700 or more but less than $35,600: 15%
- $35,600 or more but less than $36,500: 10%
- $36,500 or more but less than $37,400: 5%
Senior citizens’ exemption from taxation for school tax purposes shall be granted in the case of real property where a child resides if such child attends a public school of elementary or secondary education. The exemption follows the same sliding income scale as the regular senior citizens’ exemption along with age requirements.
School Tax Relief (STAR) exemption/credit
New York State “enhanced” STAR (School Tax Relief Program) exemption for homeowners 65 years or older with combined gross spousal incomes of no more than $86,000 (based on 2016 income tax return). New York State “basic” STAR program for all homeowners of all ages and income levels.
Alternative Veterans Exemption
In 2014-15, Guilderland Central School District began offering the Alternative Veterans Exemption for eligible military veterans. School districts are allowed to offer up to a 15 percent reduction in assessed value for veterans who served during a time of war (up to a maximum of $12,000), plus 10 percent for those who served in combat zones (up to a maximum of $8,000). Veterans could also receive a reduction based on their service-connected disabilities (up to a maximum of $40,000). The town equalization rate will be applied to the exemption amount when computing tax bills.
Prior year equalization rate
- Guilderland: 75.58%
- Bethlehem: 100%
- New Scotland: 98%
- Knox: 60%
Wartime maximum: $12,000
- Guilderland: $9,069.60
- Bethlehem: $12,000
- New Scotland: $11,760
- Knox: $7,200
Combat maximum: $20,000
- Guilderland: $15,116
- Bethlehem: $20,000
- New Scotland: $19,600
- Knox: $12,000
Disabled maximum: $40,000
- Guilderland: $30,232
- Bethlehem: $40,000
- New Scotland: $39,200
- Knox: $24,000
Veterans with already approved exemptions on file with their local municipality do not need to reapply for a school tax exemption. However, new exemption applications must be filed with the town assessor by March 1, 2018.