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Your School Tax Bill Explained

Did your school taxes rise above the cap? Here's why.

Taxpayers in the Malverne school district approved a tax levy increase in May of 2.44 percent, which came under the new state cap, but now as the bills begin to arrive, many are noticing that their individual school taxes have risen at a higher rate.

Thomas McDaid, the district's business adminstrator, explained at Tuesday's school board meeting why this is the case.

"The only thing the school district has control over is setting the total amount of taxes to be collected," McDaid said.

This year that figure increased by $918,995 in the Malverne school district to $38,581,125. But three other factors determine how much of that $38.5 million each taxpayer has to pay.

In the Malverne school district, 85 percent of school taxes are collected from homeowners, identified as Class 1 taxpayers. The rest comes from apartments, co-ops, condos, businesses and commercial properties.

Nassau County assesses the value of each home in the district by taking 0.25 percent of the Full Market Value. It then determines the tax rate by subtracting the total worth of all properties in the district from the tax levy. Then, the county looks at each property separately. It multiples the tax rate by the house's individual assessed value (per $100) to figure out each homeowner's portion of the school tax pie.

If every home in the district was assessed at the same value, then everyone would pay the same amount of taxes, but that's not the case. Those with higher assessed values will pay more and when a homeowner successfully grieves his or her taxes, it impacts everyone in the district.

For instance, if the value of even one house goes down, the rest of the homes in the district will have to pay more as the amount that one taxpayer is no longer paying must be spread out among those whose assessed values either went up or stayed the same. The situation becomes more complicated when the values of multiple homes go up or down in a given year. Even if the assessed value of your house went down, you could still see an increase in your taxes if other homes in the district decreased by a larger percentage.

McDaid ran the numbers for the Malverne school district this year and concluded that "if the value of your house went down more than 7.8 percent, then your taxes will go down, you'll be below that 2.44 percent."

He added, "The houses that either decreased less than 7 percent or actually increased are the calls I'll be getting first thing tomorrow morning saying, 'My taxes went up 10 percent, 20 percent, 15 percent."

McDaid said he is happy to talk with anyone who wishes to discuss their tax bills with him or has questions. He can be reached via phone at 516-887-6417. He also suggested residents check out mynassauproperty.com for more information specific to your home.

How much did your school taxes go up this year? Let us know in the comments section.

Manny Martinez October 12, 2012 at 02:12 PM
I believe there is another reason why school taxes went up... Here are specific amounts for West Hempstead residents but other individuals can check their specific school budget data….The 2012-2013 West Hempstead School District budget clearly outlined that the Property Tax Levy amount would be $40,870,966 or 2.58% higher than 2011-2012. See WHUFSD link below. http://www.whufsd.com/ourpages/auto/2012/1/11/45774800/Estimated%2012-13%20Revenue%20Budget%20April%2017%202012.pdf As we know, on May 15, 2012, West Hempstead School District residents overwhelmingly approved the 2012-2013 School Budget with 1027 YES votes and 650 NO votes. See Patch article below. http://malverne-lynbrook.patch.com/articles/west-hempstead-approves-votes-down-school-budget Therefore the APPROVED Property Tax Levy of $40,870,966 is the total portion that residents (less exemptions for Senior residentss, Volunteer Fire Department Personnel, etc.) and businesses MUST PAY. Since I suspect there are now LESS businesses operating and paying school taxes than in prior years in West Hempstead, the obvious tax burden falls more on the residents. So…..Please “Shop Locally” so that West Hempstead businesses will remain in West Hempstead!
Tara Conry October 12, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Good point, Manny!

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