Alex, you may find that your new home is reassessed at a higher value as a consequence of the sale price you are paying. Accordingly, the property tax you end up paying may be much higher than the seller was paying, to the tune of several thousand dollars even. It's not supposed to work that way, but it often does.
Wombat, I belive the PILOT that Minnewaska Lodge pays is all the tax they pay. And ayup. Yippeaiaeee!!. The Mohonk Preserve coughs up a whopping $3500 donation instead of the $100,000 plus in property tax they would have to pay on the 1900 acres and the multi-million dollar visitor center they own in Gardiner, had they not sued the Town of Gardiner to avoid paying property taxes.
We have two big problems with taxes that are going to make things worse. First, the efforts to devalue land via zoning all along the ridge will end up eroding further an already very thin tax base in the county which will affect town, county, and school taxes. Second, the State of New York is running a 4 billion dollar deficit this year. Of course, unlike the Federal government, which can print or borrow money to fund deficit spending, the state has to either cut expenses or raise taxes and balance its budget.
The huge 4 billion dollar state deficit is projected to balloon to $12 billion in two years. One proposed solution is to cut school aid drastically. If that happens local school systems will see huge cuts in state aid. They will either have to greatly raise the already very high school taxes or cut spending. Typically school budgets are voted on at the schools themselves and most of the people voting are parents of school children. Virtually all school budgets, no matter the increase, are approved.
Among the 790 largest counties in the country, Ulster County ranks 28th currently in property taxes as a percentage of income, which puts us at about the 4th percentile. It's very likely we will move up into the first or second percentile in the next few years due to continued erosion of the tax base and disastrous shortfalls in the state budget.
Wombat, you are the econ guy here. If I'm wrong about funding state deficits or some such, please correct me.