Tax rate increase lower than projected at May budget vote

The Board of Education last week set tax rates for the 2019-20 school year, rates that are less, in many instances, than the 3% predicted at the time of the May budget vote.

The tax levy still increased by 3 percent to $4.974 million. The tax levy is the total amount of taxes the school district collects from homeowners and businesses.

These rates were adopted for the nine towns that make up the OESJ school district. The rates are different because each town has its own equalization rate, which is set by the state. The towns listed below are ranked from the largest share of towns in OESJ to the smallest.

The adopted rates were:

  • Oppenheim, $29.77 per $1,000 assessed value, compared with last year’s $29.36 per $1,000 – a 1.4% increase.
  • St. Johnsville, $47.83 per $1,000 assessed value, compared with last year’s $45.74 per $1,000 – a 4.6% increase
  • Ephratah, $22.18 per $1,000 assessed value, compared with last year’s $21.88 per $1,000 – a 1.4% increase.
  • Manheim, $22.84 per $1,000 assessed value, compared with last year’s $22.53 per $1,000 – a 1.4% increase.
  • Minden, $15.31 per $1,000 assessed value, compared with last year’s $15.10 per $1,000 – a 1.4% increase.
  • Danube, $19.62 per $1,000 assessed value, compared with last year’s $19.06 per $1,000 – a 3.0% increase.
  • Johnstown, $23.19 per $1,000 assessed value, compared with last year’s $22.53 per $1,000 – a 2.9% increase.
  • Palatine, $22.18 per $1,000 assessed value, compared with last year’s $27.45  per $1,000 – a 1.4% increase.
  • Stratford, $15.78 per $1,000 assessed value, compared with last year’s $15.10 per $1,000 – a 4.5% increase.

The tax rates are per $1,000 of assessed value. So, if you live in the town of Oppenheim and you own a house assessed at $100,000, your school tax bill in September will be $2,977 before savings from the state’s STAR program.

In the town of Oppenheim, the Basic STAR exemption is $15,430 and the Enhanced STAR exemption is $35,330. Those amounts are deducted from your school tax bill before the bill is computed.

That means an actual maximum deduction of $483 for Basic STAR recipients and $1,053 for Enhanced STAR recipients. If you signed up for the STAR check program instead, those amounts will be mailed to you in the fall.

Read the STAR specifics here.