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Schroon school tax rates fall

SCHROON LAKE Taxpayers in the Schroon Lake Central School District got a pleasant surprise when they received their school tax bills this September. Tax rates have gone down.

The 2007-08 tax rate in the towns of Schroon and North Hudson is $5.89 per $1,000 of assessed value, a 15.2 percent drop from last years rate of $6.95.

The Schroon Lake district also includes a portion of the town of Chester. Its tax rate is $9.06 per $1,000 of assessed value. The higher rate in Chester is a result of state equalization rates.

That drop in tax rate in Schroon and North Hudson is the result of increases in the assessed property values in each town, according to school Superintendent Mike Bonnewell.

The actual amount of money to be raised by taxes is up 2.2 percent from a year ago, he said. That tax increase comes after the Schroon Lake board of education voted Aug. 23 to apply $50,000 in fund balance from 2006-07 to the current budget.

At its Aug. 23 meeting Schroon Lake board members also urged taxpayers to seek state STAR exemptions.

Schroon Lake Central tax bills will include a flyer reminding taxpayers who qualify for a 2007-2008 STAR Property Tax Exemption to apply for the New York State Middle Class Property Tax Rebate Program. According to the state flyer: This years rebate checks are based on the local property tax burden and the owners income level. Eligible homeowners must wait to receive their applications from the Tax Department to apply.

The flyer directs taxpayers to www.nystax.gov for information. This year people who receive a basic STAR exemption on their 2007-2008 school tax bill must fill out an application that allows the state to calculate the amount of the targeted rebate. People must apply no later than Nov. 30, 2007.

Senior citizens who are property owners and receive an enhanced STAR exemption on their 2007-2008 tax bill will receive a rebate check automatically. For seniors with enhanced STAR, no application is required.

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