MASSENA — Because the town of Massena’s taxable assessed value went down, taxpayers in Massena will see an increase in their school tax rate, from $18.38 to $18.49 per $1,000 of assessed value.
The Massena Central School District’s Board of Education had presented voters with a 2021-22 budget in May that contained no tax levy increase. However, once towns filed their final tax assessment rolls and the county presented the school tax rates for each town, Massena’s numbers increased.
School taxes are based on equalization rates for each town, ranging from 100% in Massena and Brasher to 81% in Louisville and 79% in Norfolk. Equalization rates measure a municipality’s level of assessment and how close a property’s assessment is to its actual value.
“The town of Massena’s taxable assessed value went down by $4.1 million. This is largely due to tax challenges from Arconic and St. Lawrence Plaza (old Hannafords area) which were settled by the town. Though the board of education did not increase the tax levy this year, the reduction in tax assessments for the town of Massena will lead to an increase in the school tax rate from $18.38 to $18.49,” Superintendent Patrick Brady said.
He said the school tax rate will also increase slightly for the towns of Louisville and Norfolk. However, because the town of Brasher now has a 100% equalization rate following a recent town-wide reval, the rate will decrease by 22%. The equalization rate in the town of Brasher had previously been 78%.
The equalized tax rates per $1,000 of assessed value are $18.496067 in Brasher, $18.496118 in Massena, $22.834651 in Louisville and $23.412744 in Norfolk.
“Sometimes we have a 0% tax levy and we see it go down. But with that (change in assessed value), especially with Massena, we’ll see a slight uptick in the tax rate this year,” Mr. Brady said.
“We did our part,” board of education member Kevin Perretta said.
The tax rates approved by the board of education in 2020 were good for Massena and not so good for the towns of Brasher, Norfolk and Louisville.
Voters had approved a budget with a 1.99% tax levy increase in May 2020 and, when the final tax assessment roll was released in August, it showed the town of Massena’s taxable assessed value had gone up by $2.3 million, giving Massena taxpayers a 0.35% school rate reduction.
The tax rate for Massena went down by 6.5 cents per thousand of assessed value, or .35%. However, because the other towns were not at a 100% equalization rate, they saw relatively high tax increases — Brasher by 2.84%, Louisville by 7% and Norfolk by 3.43%.