A Tradition of Excellence since 1657

Taxable Assessed Valuation
Shows Decline

The property tax base in the Huntington School District continues to shrink at an alarming rate. According to Huntington Town Assessor Bryan J. Monaghan, the assessed valuation of taxable property within the district has fallen by more than $418,000 since last year.

As of this month, the tentative assessed valuation in the district is $45,381,530, which represents a stunning loss of more than $4.4 million or about $9 million in annual property taxes since the 1990/91 school year. A declining tax base puts upward pressure on the tax rate.

The district's assessed property values amounted to $45,800,187 last year. School officials knew the troubled economy would reduce property values and budgeted for a loss of $300,000 in assessed valuation, or more than $600,000 in property taxes. However, the new figures compiled by the town and shared with the district this month show a much sharper decline.

The loss of an additional $118,000 in property assessments correlates to a loss of about $250,000 in tax revenue for the district. When the 2011/12 school budget was presented to voters last May, the district estimated it would require a 3.15 percent increase in the tax rate to $207.15 per $100 of assessed valuation.

Faced with the loss a quarter-of-a-million dollars in revenues due to the assessment decline, the district has needed to dip into its fund balance reserves to cover the shortfall and keep the tax increase at last spring's estimated figure.

Huntington School Board members discussed the new assessment information along with the 2011/12 tax rate at their meeting this past Monday night in the Jack Abrams School auditorium.

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