OBSERVER Staff Report
Two Chautauqua County cities are ranked in the top tier for the highest tax rates in the state.
The Empire Center ranked effective tax rates for 2010 in every region of the state, along with a ranking of effective tax rates in cities. The study found that property owners in the city of Fulton, which is in Central New York, pay the highest effective tax rate as a city while the Western New York region has the highest overall rates.
Overall, Jamestown rated fifth in the survey and Dunkirk rated 12th highest, according to the survey. Jamestown's tax rate per $1,000 of assessed valuation was $47.47 while Dunkirk's rate was $43.51.
Tim Hoefer, director of the Empire Center, said the rankings indicate New York's highest effective property tax rates are imposed in cities and rural areas with low property values, while the lowest effective rates are found in resort communities and wealthy areas with very high property values.
"Many New York towns and cities contain parts of multiple school districts and villages, which means there are literally thousands of different combinations of taxing jurisdictions to compare," he said. "... Since school districts typically represent the largest portion of property tax bills, we believe it is especially useful to have the data available in advance of budget votes on May 17."