Cut tax rate in Gloversville

Mayor Dayton King recently said he plans to propose a 2 percent property tax reduction when he presents the Common Council with his proposed 2014 city budget. The tax relief is long overdue.

A report released in May by the Empire Center for New York State Policy showed Gloversville has the highest effective tax rate of any city in New York state. City property owners with property in the Gloversville Enlarged School District pay a combined $52.70 per $1,000 of assessed value in city, school and county taxes.

Gloversville is taking too much from too little. The median home value in Gloversville is only $70,600, but the property taxes on that home are about $3,700. While the cost of local government has gone up over the past few decades, property values in Gloversville have stagnated, a reflection of the local economy. Gloversville also has one of the highest poverty rates among cities in the state, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

City government can help reverse these negative trends by lowering the property tax rate. City officials expect to collect an additional $600,000 to $800,000 in sales tax revenue from the new Walmart Supercenter. The city should use this money to cut property taxes. City leaders should resist the temptation to use the new sales tax revenue to increase staffing levels, make unnecessary purchases or start expensive new programs.

We also encourage Fulton County government, which charges a tax rate of $9.71 per $1,000 in Gloversville, and the Gloversville school district, which charges a tax rate of $21.32 per $1,000 in Gloversville, to either cut taxes or stop them from going up.

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