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Official: County equalization rates at ‘historic lows’

December 1, 2012
By MICHAEL ANICH , The Leader Herald

JOHNSTOWN - Annual equalization rates for Fulton County's municipalities were accepted Monday by the Board of Supervisors to report to the state, with one county official noting how they have dwindled.

"Equalization in many of our areas are at historic lows," county Administrative Officer Jon Stead told the board.

The board's so-called "Committee on Equalization," which is the Finance Committee, annually issues a report on equalization to the full board. This year's report - noting an average county equalization rate of about 75 percent - was accepted by the board Monday at the County Office Building. The report is forwarded to the state Department of Taxation of Finance.

Equalization rates are established annually by the state Board of Real Property Services subsequent to on-site field appraisals and surveys of local properties.

Rates are used to convert assessed values to full valuation, or 100 percent "true" value, which is the preferred valuation to base eventual property tax rates upon. Municipalities periodically do revaluations of their parcels to get as close to full valuation, or the truest possible measure of the value of the properties.

Stead took notice of various low equalization rates in the county, such as: 44.4 percent in the town of Caroga, 55.9 percent in the town of Oppenheim, 58 percent in the town of Perth, and 60 percent in the town of Stratford.

Two municipalities - the city of Gloversville and the town of Bleecker - are at 100 percent equalization.

Other equalization rates for the county are as follows: town of Broadalbin - 90 percent; town of Ephratah - 84 percent; town of Johnstown - 78 percent; town of Mayfield - 74 percent; city of Johnstown - 70 percent; and the town of Northampton - 67 percent.

In other board business:

Supervisors authorized disposal of certain surplus equipment in three county departments. Ordered disposed were: Personnel Department - printer; Department of Social Services - printer, smart board, telephones; and Solid Waste Department - sander and portable VHF radio and charger.

The board's organizational meeting was set for 10 a.m. Jan. 2 in the Supervisor's Chambers of the County Office Building.

The board appropriated operating funds totaling $1.4 million to Fulton-Montgomery Community College in four equal installments of $348,955.25. Installment periods are: retroactive to September 2012, January 2013, March 2013 and June 2013.

Annual salaries for members of the board were set for 2013. The board chairman will be paid $9,880. The other members will be paid $7,505 each.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at



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