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A Closer Look at Your Tax "Bill"

Although it is commonly referred to as a property tax "bill", most New Yorkers receive multiple property tax bills. In fact, as is shown below, some citizens can receive up to four tax bills. Therefore, if you add together you get your total property tax bill.

For example, see a sample bill from a family in Western New York from 2008:

What Should You Look for in Your Local Budgets?

You should first look for the budget message, which is written by the budget officer.

The budget message outlines the budget presentation and provides the reader with the general themes within the budget. Whether presented by program area or theme, the budget message will summarize increase (and reductions) to spending and programs.

You should also look for the revenue and spending sections of the budget.

Although local governments may have different budgetary formats, all local government budgets have sections about (i) revenues that the local government expects to take in during the fiscal year covered by the budget, and (ii) spending by the local government during the fiscal year covered by the budget . Many budgets often have separate sections that also describe revenues and spending by source of revenue. Budgets may also have summary sections, which often contain useful and important information that makes it easier to understand the budget. A summary will usually show how much is collected through individual taxes and fees, and overall amounts that are spent on employee payrolls, benefits, contractual expenses, etc. The budgets of larger local governments are likely to contain these summaries, and often include illustrative charts and graphs to explain the various parts of the budget. However, even smaller governments’ budgets may contain more detailed sections with valuable information.

County &
Town Tax

County & Town Tax
Village Tax

Village Tax
School Tax

School Tax
Water Bill

Water Bill