Huntington School Board members have voted unanimously to set the 2016/17 tax rate at $229.41 per $100 of assessed valuation. The 1.61 percent increase over last year is identical to last May’s estimate when residents went to the polls and approved the school budget. Trustees took the action during their public meeting this past Monday night in the Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School auditorium.
Keeping the tax increase in line with last spring’s projection despite a slight decrease in the district’s assessed property value required trustees to appropriate an additional $208,214 from the district’s fund balance. In all, the district is using $1.708 million in fund balance monies to hold the line on taxes.
“Predicting the district’s assessed valuation each year is a difficult task, but we have done so prudently in recent years so as to avoid unexpected surprises associated with the school tax rate,” Superintendent James W. Polansky said. “The Board’s action in terms of lowering the tax levy for the current year so as to maintain the tax rate projected in the spring is equally as prudent and sensitive to the expectations of district taxpayers.”
The 2016/17 budget totals $123,100,263, an increase of 2.25 percent over last year’s amount. In addition to the appropriation from the fund balance, projected revenues include $103,421,141 in property taxes, $15,963,840 in state aid and $1,007,068 in miscellaneous revenues.
Had trustees not appropriated the additional monies from the fund balance, the tax rate would have needed to be hiked 1.81 percent to make up for the loss of revenue caused by a drop of more than $91,174 in assessed value, from $45,172,531 last to year to the current $45,081,357.