BRASHER FALLS Although St. Lawrence Central School voters approved an $18.9 million budget in May that carried a 3.3 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 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 rate increase proposed in May isnt necessarily what residents will see their taxes rise to 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 board of education approved a 7.9 percent increase in the tax rate, a decrease from both tax levy increases presented to voters.
This years 2 percent tax rate increase is based on an equalization rate of 100, Mr. Putman said, which means the number will vary from town to town in the district. The rate reflects the percentage of true value of assessments in the town, as determined by state experts.
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 an equalization rate of 100, he said. Brashers rate is 90, Lawrences is 94, Norfolks is 82, Stockholms is 92, Bombays is 3.1 and Dickinsons is 99.3.
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.