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RCS District Office
P.O. Box 100
15 Mountain Road
Ravena, NY 12143
(518) 756-5200
Robert K. Libby,
Superintendent

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May 5, 2017

Lowered assessment for Selkirk Cogen to affect RCS homeowners

This winter, the Town of Bethlehem reached a settlement for a tax assessment reduction for Selkirk Cogen Partners, LP, a natural gas-fired cogeneration facility located in Selkirk. The company challenged its tax assessments for 2015, 2016 and 2017, which stood at roughly $100 million in 2015.

In an agreement reached on Feb. 28, the new assessment was set at $50 million (a 50 percent reduction) per year. The new assessment will be in place through 2020. It allows for the possibility of increasing Selkirk Cogen’s assessment to $85 million if there is more than 40 percent growth in energy production.

“As a district, we have no control over assessments,” RCS board president James Latter said. “While it’s unfortunate the reduced assessment has an effect on our resident taxpayers, we are thankful for businesses like Selkirk Cogen that choose to work
in our community. It’s businesses like these that often pay large sums of school taxes, taking some of the burden off our residents.”

Under the agreement, Selkirk Cogen will also dismiss their assessment challenges for both the 2015 and 2016 tax years. If these challenges had continued forward, it may have resulted in the district being required to refund the company for part of its payments for those years. The 2016 tax refund alone would have cost the district $977,000.

The impact of the reduced assessment will be reflected in September 2017 tax bills when residents will likely see an estimated tax rate increase between 4.5 and 6.5 percent (based on 2016 tax assessment figures), depending on town of residency.

For a home valued at $150,000 with no STAR exemption this would lead to a projected tax increase of $195 for Bethlehem residents, $116 for Coeymans residents, $117 for New Scotland residents, and $153 for New Baltimore residents.