LEWISBORO, N.Y. -- The Katonah-Lewisboro School District had to get creative to reduce a tax levy hike by $200,000.
The Board of Education approved the reduction during a regular meeting on Aug. 5 to modify the district's 2013-14 budget.
"We are mindful of our taxpayers' concerns, and by lowering our tax levy, are able to relieve them of higher-than-anticipated taxes," said Paul Kreutzer, superintendent of the Katonah-Lewisboro School District.
To offset the decline of assessed property values, which occurred since the original budget was approved by voters in May, assistant superintendent for business Michael Jumper, recommended the district counterbalance it by reducing its tax levy.
"Each year, our budget documentation states that the tax rate information is simply an estimate and that assessed property values are subject to change in July,” Mr. Jumper stated. “We felt it was appropriate to allocate from our fund balance so that our taxpayers will not be affected. It is always our goal to keep the tax rate close to what is presented in the budget.”
According to the district, assessed property values "changed slightly from those estimated when the budget was developed. The variance in assessed values would raise the tax rates in each of the four towns by approximately $0.40 per $1,000 of assessed value."
Jumper's proposal called for the district to counterbalance the increase by lowering its tax levy. According to Jumper, the district "will compensate for this assessment reduction by applying $200,000 from its fund balance thereby reducing its tax levy."
The tax levy estimated during the budget development process in May was $102,981,072. Under the new proposal, it has been lowered to $102,781,072.
"We thank Mike Jumper for his hard work in determining a feasible way to lower the tax levy, " said Dr.Kreutzer.