ROTTERDAM: Schools face angry taxpayers

Swezey said the increase in the tax levy usually is why people's taxes increase, but this year another factor " the reassessment " added to the increase in school taxes.

For example, if school tax rates remained the same, but the reassessment still took place, taxes for some residents would still increase. A resident with a home assessed at $135,593 with a school tax rate of $14.64 would pay $1,976.40 in school taxes. If that same resident's home was reassessed the next year at $175,000 and they still paid a tax rate of $14.64 the homeowner would pay $2,562 in school taxes " an increase of $585.60.

According to Swezey, the increase in this year's school tax levy is only a small portion of the increase in school taxes. She said if the reassessment had been done a year ago, this year's tax rate increase would be 60 cents.

Residents also expressed concern that Mohonasen did not adopt the Homestead/Non-Homestead Act, which was adopted by the town and by the Schalmont School District.

School board members said they did not want to put an added burden on the small business owners that make up a majority of businesses in the Mohonasen district.

"We didn't want to drive business away because the next year, the tax burden would fall greater on the homeowners," former school board president Nancy Del Prado said.

According to Swezey, about 21 percent of taxable properties in the Mohonasen district were non-residential compared to the 52 percent of taxable properties in the Schalmont district.

Swezey said if the school board had adopted the Homestead/Non-Homestead provision it would have meant a tax rate savings of about 60 cents for residents and a tax rate increase of about $3.60 for business owners.

Former town Supervisor John Paolino said if residents were to blame anyone it should be him because his administration passed the resolution to allow for the reassessment.

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