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Posted on October 5, 2015 at 12:00 PM by PattiAnn Schultz
I received an email last week from a resident about the 2016 budget and how the developments in town impacted the town budget. He thought that because of the large senior projects and other commercial projects building in the town, that taxes could be lowered.
I agree about the developments but it does not bring in the money one may think to the coffers of the Town of Webster. For 2016, the assessment increase from new development was 26,435,914 and netted the town at $4.60 per thousand which equals $121,605. While this is a lot of money, it does not provide the income necessary, at this time, to lower the tax rate.
The same applies to the Webster Central School District who had an assessment increase of 25,722,917 (different from town because of STAR and this only includes the Webster portion) times their rate of $24.04 which netted them $618,379.00 more than in the previous year.
Other factors also contribute to the assessment numbers like the County COMIDA program which takes dollars away from the town and school district for a ten year period before we receive the full assessment and tax dollars from them. The Toner Plant comes to mind as an example here. They are only paying a percentage of the full assessment over a ten year period because of the deal COMIDA made without the Town Board even being asked about this reduction in our revenue from the County.
Other cases that also come to mind are business’s that get COMIDA tax breaks for only increasing their payroll by one or two employees. They also get to enjoy ten year tax breaks before the town or school district see the full potential of their proper assessments.
Another tax break given by New York State is the Business Investment Exemption which would include Webster Town Center. Because of this exemption the plaza has yet to pay the true value of its assessment to the Town of Webster or the Webster Central School District. That will not happen until 2019 for the January, 2020 tax bills. So for the past years they have received a tax break from their normal assessment that they should have been paying.
Now let me tell you what is going to happen after these ten year periods expire that netted these businesses a tax break. Once that tax break is over, some will sue the Town of Webster because they will now feel that their assessment is too high and to lower their tax bill they will force the town to spend your taxpayer dollars to defend our assessment numbers so they will not have to pay the full tax bill that applies to the assessment on their building.
Due to the high taxes in New York State and the lack of courage from Albany to really do anything about it, we at the local level have to participate in their games about assessments, rebates, tax caps, tax freezes, and any other gimmicks that Albany can dream up with instead of them dealing with the tax problem and lowering taxes for everyone in New York State.
As always, if you have any questions about your town government, please feel free to contact me during regular business hours at (585) 872-7068; or email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ronald W. Nesbitt