BRASHER FALLS - Although St. Lawrence Central School voters approved an $18.9 million budget in May that carried a 3.28 percent tax levy increase, they wont be seeing that increase in their taxes.
During their meeting this week, board of education members approved a 2.04 percent tax rate increase.
Its a scenario that has been similar year after year, according to Superintendent Stephen M. Putman, who stresses during budget hearings that the tax levy increase proposed in May isnt necessarily what residents will see their taxes rise later in the year since the tax rate cant be set until August.
In 2011, for example, district officials had presented voters with two budgets, both of which were turned down. The first carried a 16.12 percent tax levy increase, while the second budget proposal asked voters to approve an 11.99 percent tax levy increase.
In August 2011, the districts board of education approved a 7.9 percent increase in the tax rate, a decrease from both tax levy increases presented to voters last year. This years 2.04 percent tax rate increase is based on 100 percent equalization rate, according to Mr. Putman, which means that the number will vary from town to town in the district.
The state is the one that determines the equalization rate, he said, noting that how it varies from town to town is out of the districts control.
Hopkinton and Massena are the only two towns in the district with a 100 percent equalization rate, he said. Brashers is 90 percent, Lawrences is 94 percent, Norfolks is 82 percent, Stockholms is 92 percent, bombays is 3.12 percent and Dickinsons is 99.28 percent.
That translates to a tax rate of $24.56 per $1,000 of assessed value for Brasher, $22.10 for Hopkinton, $23.51 for Lawrence, $22.10 for Massena, $26.96 for Norfolk, $24.03 for Stockholm, $708.58 for Bombay and $22.26 for Dickinson.
Of the districts $18.9 million budget that was passed by voters this year, $12,764,367 is covered by state aid.