Albany and Binghamton topped the list for property taxes in the 2014 update of Benchmarking New York, the Empire Center web tool that connects users with tax, spending and debt data from local governments outside New York City.

Albany had the highest effective property tax rate, 1.22 percent, among the five largest cities, while Binghamton’s 2.51 percent effective tax rate was the highest among all cities.

The update features data collected by the Office of the State Comptroller for local governments’ 2013 fiscal years. Other key findings include:

  • Among cities, White Plains had the highest per capita taxes at $1,898 and the highest per capita spending at $3,716. The Finger Lakes city of Geneva had the highest per capita debt at $3,318.
  • The Southern Tier town of Alma had the highest effective town tax rate at 1.69 percent.
  • The Long Island town of Oyster Bay, which last week passed a budget that reportedly hiked taxes 8.8 percent, had the highest per capita debt and spending of New York’s towns with more than 100,000 residents.
  • Allegany County residents paid the highest county property tax rate at 1.56 percent, while Lewis County had the highest per capita spending and Nassau County had the highest per capita debt.

“New Yorkers are paying some of the highest property taxes in the country, and Benchmarking New York is a powerful tool that lets them see exactly how their taxes compare to those in other communities,” said Tim Hoefer, executive director of the Empire Center. “While Albany mandates are responsible for a substantial amount of local government spending, some localities are making better choices than others. New Yorkers deserve to know how their town, city, village or county stacks up, and with Benchmarking New York, they can find out.”

The Benchmarking tool is available at

Ken Girardin

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The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.

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