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Guilderland residents turn out in protest of school-tax bills

Sep 25, 2017 11:15 am

Elizabeth Floyd Mair is reporting in The Altamont Enterprise more than 100 residents turned out for a Guilderland Town Board meeting last week to ask the board for help in fighting their tax bills. The new state-set equalization rate has school-tax bills rising by as much as 19 percent. Supervisor Peter Barber called the state’s system “corrupt” and “crappy.” Guilderland used to conduct town-wide revaluations every four or five years, but has not done so since 2005. Barber plans to ask the town board to vote on October 4, to begin a town-wide revaluation. Even if the board approves the resolution, revaluation is a lengthy process and will not affect taxes until 2019. The town appealed its rate to the New York State Office of Real Property Tax Services Board, arguing that its methods of assessing were unfair. Paul Miller, director of Regional Service for the Office of Real Property Tax Service, said that, of the 985 places surveyed by the state, equalization rates were set at the same level the locality named in 97 percent of the cases. Guilderland was among 3 percent that had problems. The panel gave Guilderland little remedy, Barber said, so there is nothing residents can do to lower the recently mailed school-tax bills that are due in early October. “We can’t unring the bell, can’t undo the tax bills sent out by the schools,” Barber said. Read the full story in The Altamont Enterprise.

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