Fulton County Board of Supervisors approves average tax rate cut

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The Fulton County Board of Supervisors on Monday voted to approve a $100 million budget for 2022, which includes an average county tax rate cut of 23 cents per thousand dollars of assessed value and a 3.5% raise for supervisors.

County budget director Alice Kuntzsch said the average county tax rate per thousand dollars of assessed value will drop from $10.89 per thousand for the 2021 budget down to $10.66 per thousand for 2022.

“So, it went down 23 cents, or 2.1%,” Kuntzsch said.

Fulton County’s total property tax levy is set to drop by $298,638 from $30.668 million for 2021 down to $30.369 million for 2022.

“This is the first time in quite a few years that it’s gone down,” Fulton County Administrator Jon Stead said of the property tax levy.

The property tax reduction, however, will not be distributed equally among the 10 towns and two cities in Fulton County, all of which have their own county tax rate, which is based on the municipality’s total assessed value and its equalization rate, which is the formula New York state uses to mitigate the difference between the assessed value of property and the actual sales price of property within a given municipality.

Generally, when a municipality’s equalization rate falls, it tends to absorb a larger portion of the county’s overall property tax levy.

The Town of Broadalbin and the Town of Perth will each shoulder a greater portion of Fulton County’s total property tax levy. Under the county’s original tentative budget, before it was amended on Nov. 15, the county had been projecting a 9-cents-per-thousand-dollars of assessed value average county tax rate increase due to the county’s overall equalization rate dropping from 73.18% to 70.30%. The two largest equalization rate drops will occur in the Town of Johnstown, which had a 65% equalization rate for 2021 that will drop to 60% for 2022, and the Town of Perth, which had a 2021 equalization rate of 49% down to 45.40% for 2022.

Before the original 2022 tentative budget was amended on Monday, the county tax rate in the Town of Perth was set to go up 4.40%, a 77 cent per thousand dollars of assessed value increase, taking Perth’s county tax rate from $17.49 per thousand dollars of assessed value to $18.26 per thousand dollars of assessed value.

The average county tax rate was reduced on Nov. 15 when the Board of Supervisors amended the budget to include additional federal revenues and increase spending from the county’s estimated $24 million fund balance of unspent revenues by an additional $500,000, bringing fund balance spending to $3.6 million for the 2022 fiscal year.

Another reason the property tax levy is going down is an increase in estimated sales tax. County officials are estimating about $15 million in sales tax revenue will be collected in 2022, which is approximately $250,000 more than was collected in 2021.

Kuntzsch on Tuesday said she isn’t certain whether any municipality in Fulton County will have a county property tax rate increase and she won’t know until those numbers have been calculated, which probably won’t happen until early next week.

Some of the towns in Fulton County, like the Town of Broadalbin and the Town of Perth are definitely set to shoulder an increased county property tax levy. For 2021 Town of Broadalbin property owners paid a county property tax levy of $3.617 million and will pay about $23,343 more for 2022, bringing the town’s portion of the county property tax levy to $3.640 million.

Town of Perth property owners in 2021 paid $2.160 million of the county’s property tax levy, but will pay $43,166 more for 2022, bringing the town’s portion of the county property tax levy to $2.203 million.

The city of Gloversville on the other hand, which has an equalization rate of 100%, will be the biggest winner in the property tax levy reduction. Gloversville property tax payers will pay less combined county property taxes for 2022 than in 2021. In 2021, property owners in Gloversville paid $3.2 million in county property taxes, but will pay $167,375 less in combined property taxes for 2022, bringing Gloversville’s share of the county property tax levy to $3.03 million.

Supervisors on Monday also approved new salaries for the county Chairman of the Board of Supervisors at $11,921 and $9,051 for the other supervisors on the board. Town supervisors also receive a seperate salary set by their town boards, but city supervisors will only receive the $9,051.

By Jason Subik

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