Binghamton Had Highest Tax Rate in Southern Tier

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Binghamton residents had the highest effective property tax rate in the Southern Tier, paying $57.79 per $1,000 of property value during 2014, according to the newest edition of Benchmarking NY, the Empire Center’s annual examination of local property taxes.

“There’s no question that New Yorkers pay some of the highest property taxes in the country, but the burden can vary widely even among neighboring jurisdictions,” said Tim Hoefer, executive director of the Empire Center. “By making it easier to compare taxes in different localities, we hope to encourage local taxpayers and elected officials to search for ways of reducing taxes and spending.”

The lowest effective tax rate in the Southern Tier was $13.75 per $1,000, levied on homes and businesses in the Otsego County town of Otsego falling within the Cooperstown school district.

In terms of tax bills on the median-value home in a community, properties within the Tompkins County village of Cayuga Heights, in the Saint Regis Falls school district, had the highest not only in the region but also anywhere north of the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) region, at $11,642. The lowest tax bill on a median-value home, $1,681, was found in the Steuben County town of Bath within the Hammondsport school district.

Users can see the components of their local property taxes and compare property taxes in multiple communities using the Empire Center’s Property Tax Calculator, a tool on SeeThroughNY.net, theCenter’s transparency website.

Benchmarking NY uses data from the Office of the State Comptroller to calculate effective tax rates–combined county, municipal and school taxes as a percent of market value–for thousands of localities across the state during 2014, excluding only New York City and Nassau County. The complete report, posted here, includes a list of the top and bottom 20 effective tax rates and the top and bottom 20 tax bills on a locality’s median-value home in each of nine regions.

The Empire Center, based in Albany, is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan think tank dedicated to promoting policies to make New York a better place to live, work and do business.