Taxpayers in Schuyler County can expect their tax rate to fall for the fifth straight year, as the 2017 budget is approved by the county Monday night. The tax rate in 2017 is projected to fall more than five percent to $7.75 per assessed thousand property value with the new budget.
That’s a $50 drop for a homeowner whose home is assessed at $100,000 (the average assessed value for a home in Schuyler County).
Tourism remains a driving force for that rate decrease, as Schuyler County is home to sales tax havens like Watkins Glen International, as well as other tourist attractions, like wineries and Watkins Glen State Park.
However, Schuyler County Administrator Tim O’Hearn credits past investments paying off as being another contributing factor in the tax rate drop.
“Tourism certainly helps in the growth we’re experiencing and will continue to experience, it helps mitigate,” O’Hearn said. “But we’re experiencing growth in other areas as well; investment in housing and real estate, and new businesses, it’s a snowball effect and I think we’ve only scratched the surface.”
O’Hearn adds the county will not reduce any services next year. He says the county will also hire two additional positions, and county employees will still receive an average pay increase of nearly 3 percent next year.