Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ranking of Town Tax Rates

A recent post displayed the ranking of town tax rate increases in Dutchess County.  This post ranks the town tax rates themselves. The tax rate measures how steeply your wealth — as measured by the value of your property — is taxed.  Do you know how your town compares with other towns in Dutchess County?  Here's the ranking for 2010:

Town of Poughkeepsie

The Town of Poughkeepsie is in first place.  Its 2010 tax rate of $3.39 per thousand dollars of market value (for homesteads outside the City of Poughkeepsie) is the highest of all 20 towns in Dutchess County.  This means that if you own a home in the Town of Poughkeepsie, your wealth — as measured by the market value of your property — is taxed by the town at a higher rate than if your home were in any other town in Dutchess County.  The Town of Poughkeepsie had a tax rate increase of 3.5 percent in 2010, which is  lower than for most towns in the county.  But already in 2009, Poughkeepsie was safely ahead of the pack.  Not only was the Town of Poughkeepsie's 2009 tax rate higher than any other town's 2009 tax rate, but the Town of Poughkeepsie's 2009 tax rate is higher than any other town's 2010 tax rate.  In other words, no other town has “achieved” as high a tax rate in 2010 as the Town of Poughkeepsie did in 2009.

Towns of Pine Plains and North East

In 2009, the Town of North East had the second highest tax rate in Dutchess County, just edging out the Town of Pine Plains.  But North East is one of only two towns in Dutchess County which did not increase its tax rate this year, while Pine Plains' tax rate went up 9 percent — more than most towns in the county. The Pine Plains “surge” allowed it to “advance” to second place, leaving North East in third position.

Town of Pawling

The Town of Pawling, thanks to having the largest surge of all towns in Dutchess County, has pulled away from a tight cluster of moderately-high-tax-rate towns in 2009, to solidly secure fourth place, with fifth place Hyde Park a distant $0.33 lower.

Towns of Washington, Wappinger, and Fishkill

The towns of Washington, Wappinger, and Fishkill have held the prizes for lowest three town tax rates for at least the last two years.  The tax rate in the Town of Poughkeepsie is 3.2 times higher than the lowest tax rate, in the Town of Washington.  For the town tax you pay on one property in Poughkeepsie, you could pay the town tax on more than three same-valued properties in the Town of Washington.

Other Towns

Do you know how your town ranks relative to other Dutchess County towns in the tax rate sweepstakes?

Now you do.

Data:  The data for this post are from a table I compiled based on tax rate information from the county government's Real Property Tax Service Agency, as explained here.  For towns containing villages, I've compiled only the tax rates for outside the villages, marked with suffix “- o”.  For towns containing separate homestead and non-homestead (commercial) rates, I've compiled only the homestead rates, marked with suffix “- h”. 

For the record, here are the corresponding 2009 town tax rates:

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