Press-Republican

November 10, 2013

Mortgage-fee revenue up $12,500 in Franklin County

DENISE A. RAYMO
Press-Republican

MALONE — Lower interest rates may have helped Franklin County collect $12,500 more in mortgage-tax revenue the last six months, which means larger shares for municipalities, too.

Sales of high-end properties in some townships may also have played a part.

Fees associated with property transactions conducted in the County Clerk’s Office involving home purchases and refinancing are divided between the state, county and towns and villages where the transaction takes place.

Towns and villages divvied up $281,916 from the April 1 to Sept. 30 reporting period.

That is about $12,500 more than the $269,328 reported for October 2012 to March 2013, according to the County Clerk’s Office.

HIGH-VALUE HOMES

County Clerk Kip Cassavaw said the slight increase could be because of low interest rates offered at the beginning of the year.

“People who had mortgages at 6 percent or 7 percent could refinance them at 3 percent or a little more, so a lot of this could be attributed to refinancing,” he said. 

“And there were a couple of pretty big sales in the south end of the county. For better or worse, there are homes with a lot of value in the south end of the county along the lakes and in Chateaugay Lake and Lake Titus, so when a few of them sell, they can skew the numbers.”

PAID JAIL DEBT

Under state law, counties can collect up to 1 percent of a mortgage-tax-filing fee.

Franklin County gained permission from the state in 2005 to raise its collection percentage to the full 1 percent to match other counties and raise more revenue.

Towns and villages can spend their shares as they see fit, but the county must use its portion on capital-improvement projects.

The county had previously used the money to pay off the debt on the County Jail. That debt has been retired; legislators have not identified a new project to fund yet.

The most recent mortgage-tax distributions for municipalities are as follows: Bangor; $10,363; Bellmont, $11,661; Bombay, $1,116; Brandon, $2,219; Brighton, $14,567; Burke (town), $8,863; Burke (village), $420; Chateaugay (town), $8,335; Chateaugay (village), $1,560; Constable, $7,034; Dickinson, $2,712; Duane, $3,354; Fort Covington, $3,556; Franklin, $10,885; Harrietstown (town), $55,974; Harrietstown (Village of Saranac Lake), $7,789; Malone (town), $55,066; Malone (village), $13,638; Moira (town), $7,300; Moira (Village of Brushton), $490; Santa Clara, $13,106; Tupper Lake (town), $30,357; Tupper Lake (village), $5,339; Waverly, $1,668; Westville, $4,543.

Email Denise A. Raymo:draymo@pressrepublican.com