Thursday
October 16, 2008

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Property tax inequities exist in Ulster County, according to new research center

NEW PALTZ – There is an inequity in the level of property tax depending upon where you live in Ulster County. That was the finding of The Center for Research Regional Education and Outreach at SUNY New Paltz in its first discussion brief released Wednesday.

Center Director and Associate College Vice President for Regional Engagement Gerald Benjamin said people with properties of similar value in Ulster pay widely different levels of taxes.

“We found that in Ellenville village and the Ellenville School District, tax demanded from $1,000 of full value is about three times the amount of tax demanded the least burdensome combination of jurisdictions, Marbletown and the Onteora School District,” he said. “Within Ulster County, we found there 55 different tax burdens alone, which is a pretty shocking fact, and essentially the places with the highest population density and the lowest population density demand of their tax base than the places in the middle.”

The study found there are too many tax exempt properties; that places with concentrated populations and very rural, geographically big places must make more tax effort than the average tax effort in the county; and places with the highest concentration of poor people require higher property tax efforts.

Among the study’s suggested solutions up for discussion are that some states have found ways to share property tax receives among local jurisdictions; that the state Office of real Property Services is seeking to ensure that properties are assessed on the same basis; and that lawmakers are discussing a “circuit breaker” to link a homeowner’s tax bill with their ability to pay.

 


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