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Taxpayer Information

Filed in District by on August 7, 2017

IMPORTANT: The due date for your payment, in order to pay without penalty, is listed on your bill as September 30, 2017. Because September 30, 2017 falls on a Saturday, the last day to pay your bill without being subject to a penalty (either in person at Pioneer Bank, or mailed with a valid USPS postmark, or paid on-line with a credit card/e-check) is Monday, October 2, 2017.


School District Tax Rates

The Board of Education typically sets the tax rates for each school year in August. The tax rates are based upon the total tax levy for the year in the approved budget and final municipal assessments for the Town of Bethlehem and the Town of New Scotland. Tax rates sometimes vary between the towns because property in each is assessed at different levels in relation to full market value. After the towns submit final assessment information to the state Office of Real Property Services each summer, the state assigns each community an equalization rate to account for these differences in assessment practices. The equalization process is designed to fairly apportion the total tax levy between the towns and result in similar tax bills for properties with similar values regardless of municipality. The district does not control any part of the assessment or equalization process.

Online Access to Tax Bills

Residents of the Bethlehem Central School District can look up their school tax bill online. Follow the link below:

School Tax Rates

Listed below are the school tax rates for the past several years. Tax rates are per $1,000 of assessed property value.

Town 2017-18 2016-17 2015-16 2014-15 2013-14 2012-13
Bethlehem $20.74 $20.88 $20.85 $20.77 $21.60 $20.90
New Scotland $21.17 $20.88 $20.85 $20.77 $21.60 $20.49

Frequently Asked Questions


Tax Bills

When will I receive my school tax bill?

Bills will be mailed out the first week in September. If you don’t receive your bill by September 15, please contact the Bethlehem Central School District Tax Collector Michelle Curtis at (518) 439-7481, ext. 31922 or by email mcurtis@bcsd.neric.org.

When are my school taxes due?

School taxes are billed annually. You will receive a bill in the beginning of September (or if escrowed, the bill will be sent directly to the escrow company). Payments are generally due by September 30th to avoid a penalty. In the event September 30th falls on a weekend or a holiday, the due date falls on the next business day. NOTE: because September 30, 2017 falls on a Saturday, the last day to pay your bill without being subject to a penalty (either in person at Pioneer Bank, or mailed with a valid USPS postmark, or paid on-line with a credit card/e-check) is Monday, October 2, 2017. Valid payments received/postmarked after this date, but prior to the end of the October 31st collection period, will be subject to the penalty amount as noted on your tax bill.

I received a tax bill, but my taxes are escrowed and should be paid automatically. What should I do?

Send an email to the district, to Michelle Curtis, at mcurtis@bcsd.neric.org, including your name, parcel address, phone number, and the name of your escrow company. We will confirm that the escrow company has received your tax bill and that payment either has occurred (or is scheduled to occur before September 30th). We will then provide you with confirmation that the issue has been fully resolved (please allow several days for this response); and/or: You may forward the tax bill you received to your escrow company, or you may contact your escrow company directly, who can confirm receipt of your bill.

What should I do if I find an error or missing exemption on my tax bill?

If the error relates to the property assessment or exemption amounts, please contact the town assessor first.

    • Town of Bethlehem – (518) 439-4955 x1101
    • Town of New Scotland – (518) 439-9020

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 to the Tax Collector at mcurtis@bcsd.neric.org or letter to the Bethlehem Central Tax Collector, 700 Delaware Avenue, Delmar, NY 12054 with your address, SBL, and a signature.

How do I pay my school taxes?

You have several options for paying school taxes:

  • Mail-In Payments: Checks should be made payable to the Bethlehem Central Tax Collector. Mail payment**, along with the appropriate bill stub to:

Bethlehem Central School District Tax Processing Unit P.O. Box 12905 ALBANY, NY 12212-2905

**U.S .Postmark determines date of payment.

  • In-Person Payments: This option is only available during the months of September and October. No payments can be accepted after October 31. In order to make your school tax payment in person, you must bring your entire bill with you to one of the following locations:

Pioneer Bank – Delmar Branch 184 Delaware Avenue, Delmar M-W: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Th-F: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Pioneer Bank – Glenmont Branch 329 Glenmont Road, Glenmont M-W: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Th: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. F: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

  •  Online Payments: Pay your school taxes using your Visa, Mastercard or Discover credit card. Click here to be taken to our online tax bill search information.Please note: Once you have found your tax information, be sure to click “Details” to find payment information. There is fee that includes a one-time transaction fee of $0.50 plus a 3.00% site fee for each item.
  • Payment by E-check: This is a convenient, fully automated electronic payment system allowing you to pay taxes directly from your checking or savings account. Please make sure that e-checks are allowed on the account you are using.  A graduated fee schedule applies, starting at $4.95.  Payments greater than $2,499 are charged an additional 0.5%. Click here to pay by E-check.

Please note: Tax payments cannot be accepted at the School’s Business Office or at Town of Bethlehem offices.

How do I pay my taxes if I do not have a checking account?

Ask the bank of your choice to issue a bank/cashiers check, made payable to Bethlehem Central School District. Be sure to include SBL number in memo section of check and mail to the above noted PO Box with your school tax bill.

What about delinquent taxes and penalties?

The penalty amount for a late payment, post marked October 1 – 31, is listed on your school tax bill. If you are unable to pay your taxes by October 31, the bill will be forwarded to Albany County Taxation and Finance for collection. The County can be reached at (518) 447-7082. Additional penalties are imposed by Albany County for school taxes re-levied on your Property Tax Bill in January.


School Property Tax Exemption (STAR)

 

What is the STAR exemption?

STAR is New York State’s School Tax Relief Program that provides a partial property tax exemption from school taxes to eligible homeowners. Most New Yorkers who own and live in their home are eligible for the STAR exemption on their primary residence. 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.

Homeowners who claim the Basic STAR exemption must register with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance in order to continue receiving benefits in 2014 and subsequent years. This is a new requirement implemented by the State in an effort to reduce fraud. Learn more: Understanding New York’s STAR Program (Published by Questar III and Capital Region BOCES).

How do I register for the STAR exemption?

Register online, or call the STAR program directly at (518) 457-2036.


Assessments

Who determines the assessed value of my property?

Each 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 town assessor.

  • Town of Bethlehem (518) 439-4955 x1101
  • Town of New Scotland (518) 439-9020

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 determination 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.


Paying your Tax Bill

The district uses a consolidated payment system administered by Capital Region BOCES. You have several options for paying school taxes:

PLEASE NOTE: Tax payments cannot be accepted at the School’s Business Office or at Town of Bethlehem offices.

  • Mail-In Payments: Checks should be made payable to the Bethlehem Central Tax Collector. Mail payment**, along with the appropriate bill stub to:

Bethlehem Central School District
Tax Processing Unit
P.O. Box 12905
ALBANY, NY 12212-2905

**U.S .Postmark determines date of payment.

  • In-Person Payments: This option is only available during the months of September and October. No payments can be accepted after October 31. In order to make your school tax payment in person, you must bring your entire bill with you to one of the following locations:
    • Pioneer Bank – Delmar Branch 184 Delaware Avenue, Delmar M-W: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Th-F: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • Pioneer Bank – Glenmont Branch 329 Glenmont Road, Glenmont M-W: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Th: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. F: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Online Payments: Pay your school taxes using your Visa, Mastercard or Discover credit card. Click here to be taken to our online payment provider’s site. Their fee includes a one-time transaction fee of $0.50 plus a 3.00% site fee for each item.
  • Payment by E-check: This is a convenient, fully automated electronic payment system allowing you to pay taxes directly from your checking or savings account. Please make sure that e-checks are allowed on the account you are using.  A graduated fee schedule applies, starting at $4.95.  Payments greater than $2,499 are charged an additional 0.5%. Click here to pay by E-check.