New Cheektowaga assessments reflected in school tax rates - The Buffalo News
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New Cheektowaga assessments reflected in school tax rates

Property owners in Cheektowaga got their first look at their new, full-value assessments in March.

After residents of the town’s four school districts vote next week on their respective budgets for 2014-15, taxpayers will see what those assessments mean to their bank accounts in September’s school tax bills.

School officials made the new assessments part of the conversation during budget development.

“There was definitely some confusion,” Jon T. MacSwan, superintendent of the Cleveland Hill School District, said Wednesday.

The Town Board voted in January to convert to full-value assessments.

For at least the past two decades, property was assessed at 100 percent. But the town had an equalization rate of 62 percent, set by the state, to ensure equitable property tax allocation among taxing jurisdictions.

Under the old system, that meant a house assessed at $62,000 had a market value of $100,000. Now, a house assessed at $62,000 will be taxed at that value.

Tax rates, per $1,000 of assessed valuation, are going down in each of the four school districts.

In Cleveland Hill, for example, the rate is going from $45.78 to an estimated $28.59.

Taking into account the .73 percent tax rate increase in the proposed budget, the tax bill for a house assessed at $100,000 would go from $2,838.36 to $2,859.

Residents of the Cheektowaga Central, Cheektowaga-Sloan and Maryvale school districts also can expect rate decreases.

After a series of town meetings last fall about the conversion to full-value assessments, officials in Cleveland Hill followed up with public discussions about what it meant, in addition to a special presentation, which was poorly attended.

“I did a presentation to the community showing the full impact of what a reval really does and how reval redistributes the tax levy among the taxpayers,” said Business Manager Dennis J. Corsaro. “It doesn’t do anything to increase the amount of taxes a district can raise. It redistributes it, based on the people’s new assessments.”

Corsaro said that he’s been involved in a number of municipal revaluations during the course of his career.

“It always, always, always causes confusion,” he said.

The reval was something Cheektowaga Central officials talked about, too.

“Wherever we went we explained it, but we didn’t get a lot of questions,” said Superintendent Dennis Kane, noting that meetings of the Town Park and Dick Urban community associations were among the venues.

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