School tax rate lower than expected, new tax collection location announced

— The Skaneateles CSD tax rate was announced as 2.62 percent for the 2012-13 year, which was below the 3.28 percent projected in the original school budget, said Dale Bates, assistant superintendent, business and finance, at the Aug. 21 school board meeting.

The change was the result of a slight rise in assessment rates in the town of Skaneateles. Of the other four towns in the school district, Owasco’s equalization and assessment rates decreased slightly, Spafford’s increased to 114 percent, while Sennett, Marcellus and Niles all stayed the same.

“I think we’re in pretty good shape,” Bates told the board.

Bates added that the recent announcement from the Town of Spafford that it will seek to conduct a total town reevaluation of its property assessments in an effort to reduce its equalization rate from 114 to 100 percent will not affect the district budget — and concomitantly Skaneateles town school tax rates — this year.

“The earliest impact on us is next year, but it could possibly be the year after,” depending on the time it takes to complete it, Bates said.

New school tax collection location, hours announced

The Skaneateles school property tax collection location has changed this year and will no longer be in the Town of Skaneateles offices, Bates also informed the board at the Aug. 21 meeting.

School property taxes now will be received by the tax collector at the school district office, 45 E. Elizabeth St., from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 9 to 11 a.m. on Saturdays. On Oct. 3 and 31, the hours will be 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. There also will be a drop box available in the district office from 8 a.m.to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Taxes previously were collected in the Skaneateles town office, but due to a change in town office procedures the collection location was moved, Bates said.

“We’re looking at this as a transitional period,” Bates said. “We’ll try it and see how it works this year.”

If collecting in the district office does not work, the district can look into moving tax collection to the BOCES central business office or having a local bank do it, Bates said.

Jason Emerson is editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at editor@skaneatelespress.com.

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