Report: Village of Liberty had region’s highest 2017 effective tax rate

| Times Herald Record

The region’s highest 2017 effective tax rate – $62.95 per $1,000 of home value – was shouldered by Village of Liberty homeowners, according to an Empire Center report released Monday.

And Tuxedo Park residents paid the highest total property tax bills in the mid-Hudson in 2017 – $34,808, according to the Empire Center.

The Empire Center added up the 2017 property tax bills from the respective counties, towns, cities, villages and school districts for thousands of localities across the state.

It tied the tax bills to a home valued in the middle, or median, of the respective local market.

Then the conservative think tank in Albany divided the home value into the total tax for the property to get what it calls the “effective tax rate.”

The highest effective tax rate in Sullivan, Ulster and Orange counties combined the property taxes for Sullivan County, the Town of Liberty, the Village of Liberty and the Liberty school district.

That was $6,590 on the median home value of $104,700, making the effective rate $62.95 for the Village of Liberty.

The lowest effective tax rate in the three counties was $18.13 per $1,000. That derived from Ulster County’s Town of Hardenburgh and the Margaretville school district, according to the Empire Center.

The highest effective rate in the state was in $63.66 per $1,000. That fell to the residents of the Village of Haverstraw in Rockland County. It was also the highest in the mid-Hudson.

Liberty Deputy Mayor Rob Mir defended his village on Monday.

“It’s a good value. We provide many, many services that the town does not provide,” he said.

Those include a full-service, full-time police department that responds within three minutes; thousands of street lights; and streets plowed within hours, not days, he added.

Dissolving villages is not the answer either, he said.

“If you are going to keep the services, you still have to pay for them. The expenses don’t go away.”

Higher median home values do often result in a lower effective tax rate. On the other hand, their total tax bill in raw dollars can be startling.

The effective tax rate for the Village of Tuxedo Park in Orange County is $31.55 per $1,000, about half that of the Village of Liberty.

But that comes from a median home value of $1,103,400 and a total tax bill of $34,808. The bill itself is the highest in the mid-Hudson.

The lowest property tax bill in Orange, Ulster and Sullivan county localities, according to the Empire Center, was in the the Town of Fremont in Sullivan County, combined with the Roscoe school district.

That total bill came to $2,305 on a home with a median value of $89,400. The Empire Center figured the effective tax rate per $1,000 in that case as $25.78.