Assessments up, tax rate down (again)
By Jeff Simms
Residents living in the Beacon City School District — which includes parts of Fishkill and Wappinger — have until Oct. 9 to pay their 2019-2020 school taxes before a 2 percent penalty is imposed.
The district’s levy — the overall amount it is allowed to collect through taxes — increased this year by 4.64 percent, to $40.3 million. That includes New York’s 2 percent allowable growth increase (the “tax cap”) plus $634,000 due to increased property assessments, which indicates that there are both more taxable properties in the district and that property values largely increased.
Along with more modest (4.4 percent and 2.6 percent) increases in Fishkill and Wappinger, property assessments in Beacon increased by 12.3 percent from a year ago. With more money coming in through assessments, the district’s tax rate — the rate at which properties are charged taxes — decreased for the fourth straight year, from $15.78 per $1,000 of value in 2018-2019 to $15.42.
Four years ago, the tax rate was $16.51.
Individual property owners’ tax bills could go up or down, depending on their assessments. If an assessed value stays the same or decreases, taxes could go down, but if a parcel is worth more than it was last year, the owner’s tax bill could still increase, even with the lower tax rate.
The district will spend $2.5 million from its fund balance on the 2019-2020 budget, another effort to keep the tax levy as low as possible, Deputy Superintendent Ann Marie Quartironi said.
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