City of Amsterdam Financials: Know Your Numbers

I kinda missed a few points in previous posts that are important in terms of the city’s financials:
From Mohawk Valley Compass, Controller reports good initial response to tax notices
, we learn that:

Agresta explained that the total amount of back taxes owed on the delinquent properties totals approximately $13.3 million. However he stressed that the figure included city, school district, and county taxes as well as accumulated penalty fees for late payments. He said he did not yet have a full breakdown of the make up of the total amount.

So when someone assigns the total foreclosures as totally owed to the city, like I suggested in my last post (even though presented with the data and I should have known better), that is wrong as it fails to account for the fact that the figure includes city plus school district plus county. It should also be noted that the city does not need to reimburse the county in case of uncollected amounts. For the school district however, the city needs to make the district whole.
Second, apparently the city levies 10% of city taxes plus the unpaid school taxes as an overlay amount thereby creating a reserve account to account for property owners who don’t pay their taxes. I’ve not seen any figure on this amount nor understand it fully but it is important to note that such an account exists to mitigate the risks of uncollected taxes.
Finally, as we learn in the Mohawk Valley Compass story, not all properties will be foreclosed as a portion will either pay in full or come to payment terms.
If you consider the points above, you will note that the potential marginal liability to the city is no where near $13 million no matter how folks characterize it as such.
Know your numbers.

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