Friday, July 31, 2015

School District Tax Rate Rankings

In April of 2011, I posted a series of articles comparing the tax rates of all school districts in Dutchess County. On April 28, 2011, I consolidated these articles into an 18-page report called School District Tax Rate Comparisons.

In 2012, the New York State property tax cap went into effect. The tax cap, which was intended to limit the increases in property taxes by local governments, was supported by taxpayers, but opposed by local governments, especially by school districts.

My new 19-page report, 2014 School District Tax Rate Rankings, updates the tax rate comparisons of four years ago with the most recent school tax information. Main results:
  • School tax rates have dramatically increased since four years ago, due to both tax levy increases and property value decreases.
  • Relative rankings of school tax rates have hardly changed since four years ago.
  • Year-to-year school tax rate increases are dramatically lower than four years ago. This slowed growth may be due to the property tax cap.
Like the earlier report, the 2014 report provides detailed tax rate information for every school district in Dutchess County in both tabular and chart form, in a format allowing easy comparisons to be made. The report explains how the homestead tax option, the apportionment option, and STAR exemptions complicate school district tax rate comparisons. Separate comparisons are provided from the viewpoint of school districts and taxpayers — both homes and businesses.