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District expects tax rate increase for residents after settlement reached with Selkirk Cogen and Town of Bethlehem

As the Town of Bethlehem has reached a settlement for a tax assessment reduction for Selkirk Cogen Partners, LP, the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Central School District prepares for an estimated tax rate increase of 4 to 5 percent.

Selkirk Cogen is a natural gas plant located in Bethlehem. The company challenged their tax assessment, which stood at roughly $100 million in 2015, due to plant operating below capacity. In an agreement reached on February 28, 2017, the new assessment was set at $50 million (a 50 percent reduction) per year with the possibility of increasing to $85 million if there is growth in energy production.

The agreement also established that Selkirk Cogen dismiss their assessment challenges for both the 2015 and 2016 tax years. This means the district will not need to refund tax payments to Selkirk Cogen due to the reduction. The 2016 tax refund alone would have cost the district $977 thousand.

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 4.41 and 4.77 percent (based on 2016 tax levy 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 $120-$150 per year.