2016 Schools Taxes: Questions and Answers

Look Up Your Tax Bill Online

Taxpayers can access their tax bill online for the current year starting in early September.

Frequently Asked Questions

When will I get my school tax bill?
Tax bills will be mailed on or around Sept. 1, 2016. If you don't receive your tax bill by Sept. 3, you can print a copy of your tax bill online or by contacting, Denise Fitzgerald, Receiver of School Taxes, (518) 283-4600 ext. 13, between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.

When are my school taxes due?
Your taxes are due Sept. 1 through Sept. 30. After Oct. 1, you must pay a 2% penalty with your taxes owed by Oct. 31. School taxes are billed annually; you will receive a tax bill on or around Sept. 1.

What should I do if I find an error or missing exemption on my tax bill?
For errors related to your property assessment or exemption amount, please contact your local assessor:

  • Town of Brunswick, (518) 279-3641 ext. 106
  • Town of North Greenbush, (518) 283-6175
  • Town of Poestenkill, (518) 283-5100

My tax bills will no longer be paid by escrow through my mortgage company. What do I do?
Usually, the escrow companies will let us know. You can also send an email or letter to the district with your address, SBL (Section, Block, Lot), and a signature.

What is STAR?
STAR is New York State's School Tax Relief Program.

There are two parts to the STAR property tax exemption:

  • The Basic STAR exemption is available for owner-occupied, primary residences where the homeowners' income is under $500,000. Basic STAR works by exempting a portion of the full value of a home from school taxes.

  • The Enhanced STAR exemption is available for the primary residences of senior citizens (age 65 and older) with yearly household incomes not exceeding a statewide standard. For qualifying senior citizens, the Enhanced STAR program provides additional savings by exempting a greater portion of full value from school taxes.

How did the STAR program change?
Effective with new home purchases only, New York State replaced the STAR exemption with a STAR credit. If you received a tax bill for your current home last year with a STAR exemption and you are still eligible, then you should see the STAR exemption on your 2016 tax bill as well.

How do I register for the STAR program?
You can register online or call the STAR program directly at (518) 457-2036.

Paying School Taxes

Mail-In Payments: A check can be mailed with your tax stub to: Wynantskill UFSD, 25 East Avenue, Troy, NY 12180. If a receipt is required, place an X in the box on your tax stub. The US Postmark determines if the payment is timely. Include appropriate penalty if paying on or after Oct. 1, 2016. Checks will be returned if not postmarked by Sept. 30, 2016, no exceptions.

Drop Off Payments: Payments can be dropped off at the School Main Office at 25 East Avenue between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Place payments in an envelope marked “Tax Collector” and leave at the Main Office.  Be sure to include your check and tax stub. A receipt will be mailed, if requested, by checking the box on the tax stub. There are no drop off payments taken Friday, Sept. 2, Monday, Sept. 5, or Monday, Oct. 10.

In Person Payments: To pay your taxes in person, bring your entire tax bill to the School Main Office at 25 East Avenue. Payments will be accepted in person on the following Wednesdays from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.: Sept. 7, 14, 21, and 28.

Property Tax Freeze Credit Program

Homeowners in Wynantskill UFSD who qualify for New York’s STAR exemption will receive an additional state rebate check. The rebate is part of the Property Tax Freeze Credit Program. Qualified homeowners will receive the rebate because Wynantskill UFSD’s proposed 2016-17 budget is within the state’s property tax cap. The rebate check will come from the state, not the district. More information here.

Assessments

Who determines the assessed value of my property?
Each city/town has an assessor who is responsible for determining the assessed values for properties within that town. Questions regarding town equalization rates and individual property assessments should be addressed directly to your city/town assessor.

What is Full Value?
The full value (also called market value) is what your property would sell for under normal conditions. For residential properties, your assessor generally determines market values by comparing your property with similar properties that have sold in similar neighborhoods, giving consideration to other factors possibly affecting market value.

What is Assessed Value?
The assessed value is the assessor's opinion of your parcel's current market value (full value) multiplied by the uniform percentage of value used in your town. Assessed values are used along with the tax rate to compute the tax due for a particular property, before exemptions.

What is an Equalization Rate?
Equalization rates are determined by the State and represent the overall ratio of a municipality’s total assessed value to the municipality’s total property market value. Equalization rates are used in apportioning property taxes among municipal segments of school districts. In order for a school district to fairly distribute its property tax levy, the levy needs to be divided in proportion to the total market value of each municipality or municipal segment. This allows for an equitable distribution of taxes based upon the market value of each municipality.