Taxpayer FAQ

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) 694-3949 or by email

When are my school taxes due?

School taxes are billed annually; you will only receive a bill in September. Payments are due by September 30th to avoid a penalty. The District applies a penalty if payment is received and postmarked between October 1 and October 31. The Penalty amount is noted on your school tax bill.

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

Please also 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:

  • 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 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:

In-Person Payments

This option is only available from September 1 through October 31, 2023. 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-F: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

This option gives you immediate confirmation that your payment has been accepted.

Mail-In Payments

Checks should be made payable to the Bethlehem Central Tax Collector.

Mail payment** along with the appropriate bill stub to:

    • Bethlehem CentralHigh School
    • Tax Collector
    • 700 Delaware Ave.
    • Delmar, NY 12054

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

Dropbox Payments

The district offers a dropbox option for school tax payments at the following location:

  • Bethlehem Central High School
  • 700 Delaware Ave., Delmar, NY 12054
  • A secure dropbox is located outside the “Main Entrance” on Delaware Ave. side of the high school.

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

  • 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 $0.50 fee is charged on all settled transactions, and $15 will be charged for checks returned due to non-sufficient funds. 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 late payment, postmarked October 3 – October 31, 2023, 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.

If I never received my bill or received it late, do I still have to pay the penalty?

Yes, the failure to mail a tax bill or the failure of a property owner to receive a tax bill will not affect the validity of the taxes or interest prescribed by law (New York State Real Property Tax Law §922). In addition, neither the Receiver of Taxes nor any other official has legal authority to waive statutory penalty charges. These are fixed by the Real Property Tax Law. If they are waived, the collecting officer will be personally responsible. As all records are audited by State examiners, there is absolutely no discretion in this matter. The Constitution and the law of the State mandates the procedure.

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: New York’s STAR Program website.

How do I register for the STAR exemption?

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


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.