Examining your taxes

During 2006, the Town of Altonas general fund tax rate was at $4.15 per $1,000 of assessed value and the highway fund was at $3.11 per $1,000. We were in process of negotiations with Noble power for the Altona wind park. Our goal was to cut our town property tax in half. When looking at your tax rate, you will notice that our goal was met. In 2007, we were able to cut our general tax rate to $2.29 per $1,000 and our highway tax rate to $1.75 per $1,000 after adding our new assessed value. In 2008, the general tax rate dropped again to $2.08 per $1,000. The highway fund dropped to $1.59, even though we kept the amount to be raised by taxes exactly the same as in 2007. The reason the rate dropped, even though we kept the amount to be raised by taxes the same, was due to growth in the town. My objective for writing this article was to inform and explain why even though we cut the tax rate in half, a number of people including myself, did not see a reduction in their tax bill. Some, including mine, actually increased. The reason for the increase was due to properties being raised in their assessed value. While some of us noticed an increase, many other saw a substantial reduction in their taxes. Everyones tax bill is affected by which fire district you reside in, what lighting district you live in and the county tax. Most of all, your tax bill will be affected by changes in the assessed value of your property. Had we not cut the amount of money, to be raised by the local taxpayers, in half, anyone seeing a reassessment of their property would have noticed a substantial increase in their tax bill. Essentially, everyone is paying less than they would have before the cut. In conclusion, while the tax rate for the Town of Altona, was cut in half, your individual bill may not have reflected that cut due to the factors previously discussed. Other individuals noticed a considerable decrease. If you wish to discuss any of this information, feel free to call me at the town hall at 236-7035.

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