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Lowering townwide valuation doesn't decrease taxes

To the editor: To those in Thurman who thought that by going away from the 100 percent valuation they would have reduced their school tax, I suggest the following exercise. As indicated on your tax bill, take the full market value as shown on your tax bill, which is about 8 percent higher than your assessment, subtract the Full Value STAR estimate as shown on you tax bill, (Enhanced STAR = $69663, or Basic STAR = $36,793) from your full value assessment. Divide that result by 1,000 and multiply this by the 100 percent tax rate of $14.42. Guess what, the tax owed at ER=100 percent Equalization Rate is the same as the tax you are required to pay at an Equalization Rate of 92 percent. See example below. Example: 1- My actual 2008 tax at 92 percent Equalization Rate is $1921.30, about $200 more than last year. 2- My current assessed value is $186,700, same as last year. 3- My Full Market Value (ER=100 percent) as listed on my tax bill is $202,935. Calculation: $202,935 minus $69,663=$133,272/1000=$133.273 times $14.42= $1921.78 tax due at the 100 percent rate no significant difference. Going away from the 100 percent equalization valuation does not lower your taxes. All it does is keep the town from getting the $5,500 for 100 percent valuation and may reduce the sales tax apportionment to Thurman. So, when you see your Town Board members and others, who led you to believe that you would be reducing your taxes if the 100 percent valuation was not continued, remind them that it makes no difference on your taxes, but does hurt the towns income. Regardless of the Equalization Rate level, we are taxed on the Full Market Value (100 percent) assessment. Except, this time, your assessment was determined by Office of Real Property Services in Albany instead of the local assessor. Ed Binder, Athol, NY

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