By DAVE GYMBURCH Staff writer
Depending on where you live in the Rome school district, your new school tax rate could go down about 2 percent or increase as much as 3.6 percent.
Although the overall district tax levy for 2012-13 is up about 1.7 percent, its varying impact among the district’s five municipalities is reflected in final property tax rates calculated by Director of Business and Finance Christopher Abdoo.
Among the tax rate changes, affected by property values and differing equalization rates set by the state: up about 1 percent in the City of Rome and 3.6 percent in the Town of Lee, with decreases of about 0.1 percent in Annsville, 1 percent in Western and 2.2 percent in Verona.
The rates, which will be on school-tax bills this fall, are expected to be on the Board of Education’s agenda for approval at its meeting Wednesday. Rates listed on the bills also will include tax funding for Jervis Public Library, which the district is required to collect on its behalf; the district’s tax levy is about $30.02 million, up about $507,000, while the library levy of $817,000 is unchanged from a year ago.
The total new rates per $1,000 of assessed valuation:
¿ Rome, $28.53, up 30 cents or 1.1 percent.
¿ Lee, $645.43, up $22.57 or 3.6 percent.
¿ Western, $33.02, down 32 cents or 1 percent.
¿ Annsville, $34.38, down 4 cents or 0.1 percent.
¿ Verona, $27.96, down 65 cents or 2.2 percent.
The extent of variations among municipalities changes year to year. The 2012-13 variation "has to do with the change in the market or full value of the properties in the City of Rome and the surrounding townships," Abdoo said Thursday. For Lee and to a lesser extent Rome, he said, "the change in equalization rates set by the state is the prime factor in why their tax rates increased...while the tax rates of Verona, Annsville and Western decreased."
Equalization rates went down the most in Lee, followed by Rome and a smaller proportion in Annsville, according to Abdoo. Western’s rate was unchanged, while Verona’s equalization rate rose slightly. Declines in equalization rates typically are linked to higher property values including increased home sale prices recorded by the state. This can affect a municipality’s share of the overall property tax levy.
Equalization rates are geared to assure that similar homes in different municipalities are taxed comparably, despite widely varying property assessment levels; for example, Rome’s 73.5 percent equalization rate means a property is assessed at that percentage of full value, while Lee’s 3.25 percent equalization rate means property assessments are at a far lower percentage of full value.
The City of Rome contributes 74.7 percent of the district’s tax levy, followed by 20 percent from Lee, 4.56 percent from Western, 0.44 percent from Annsville, and 0.29 percent from Verona.
Full property values in the district include about $1.09 billion for Rome, up about $24 million, and $294.1 million for Lee, up about $13.6 million.