Board sets 2015-2016 tax rates

At its Aug. 25 meeting, the Liberty Board of Education adopted the
district’s tax rate calculation for the 2015-16 school year that
carries an average tax rate decrease of 5.44 percent.

The lower tax rate reflects the Board of Education’s efforts to
keep its school tax levy as low as possible while continuing to
deliver a quality education program.

The board decided to use part of the district’s fund balance as
revenue in order to lower the tax levy, which is the total amount
of dollars raised by all school taxes. Because of this, the
2015-16 tax levy will increase 0 percent.

Tax rates may vary from year-to-year due to changes in
equalization rates, which are determined by the New York State
Office of Real Property Services, and property assessments, which
are determined at the town level.

Tax rates may differ among the towns within a school district
because each property is individually assessed in relation to its
full market value. Every summer, the state assigns an equalization
rate for each town that creates an assessment value equal to its
full market value. This process is intended to ensure that each
town pays its fair share of school taxes based on the town’s
market value.

These calculations anticipate that residents of Bethel, Liberty,
Neversink, Rockland and Thompson will see a decrease in their tax
bills during the 2015-16 school year, while residents of Fallsburg
will see an increase of $1.63 or 3.54 percent in their tax bills.

Although the school district’s 2015-16 budget remains under the
state-mandated cap and carries a tax levy decrease, property
owners’ tax rates may increase or decrease because of changes in
their assessment or the town’s equalization rate.

The school district has no control over property assessments or
equalization rates; it only controls the tax levy. Questions about
assessments and equalization rates should be directed to the
appropriate town assessor’s office.

Tax bills will be mailed to residents during the first week in
Sept. and are due by Sept. 30 without penalty. If you don’t
receive your bill by Sept. 15, please contact the tax collector,
Jeanne Dutcher at (845) 439-3557.

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