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Posted on February 14, 2014 at 3:48 PM by PattiAnn Schultz
On Monday, February 10th Town Hall was once again full with lines of Webster residents paying their Town, County and Fire District tax bills. Some took the time to come and see me in my office and were asking about various projects going on in town plus the high cost of taxes here in Webster.
So, to once again inform the residents, I have on my desk a spread sheet that shows how tax rates in the Town of Webster have gone up and who is raising the taxes:
In July, 2004 the Webster Central School tax rate was $21.57 per thousand and this year it is $23.46 per thousand. That is an increase of $1.89 per thousand in ten years. The average house in Webster is assessed at $171,000 so that makes the ten year increase in taxes $323.00.
Now, the Town of Webster tax rate in that same period of time went from $4.34 in 2004 to $4.54 this year. That means that in ten years the town tax rate has gone up 20 cents per thousand. That equals a ten year increase of $34.00 for town taxes.
The reason why I use 2004 is because the town has not done a revaluation of housing since that year. All of the houses are the same in assessment today unless you did improvements to your home or took out a building permit.
As of today the Webster Central School District represents 63% of your total tax bill in the town, with the County at 25% and the Town of Webster at 12%.
According to the School District’s numbers, 16 cents of every tax dollar goes to support maintenance of the WCSD’s physical plant or $23.6 million; 72 cents supports instruction or $106.5 million; and 12 cents supports general administration and management activities which is $17.7 million. This last number is where I have the biggest problem - $17.7 million for administration is almost what the Town of Webster’s complete operating budget is for a year!
Now the School District is going to bring up yet another capital project to the voters for approval in May, 2014. According to the minutes they need this capital project to protect the integrity and infrastructure of their buildings.
As much as I value the education system that we have in Webster, how can we continue to spend 63% of our tax dollars here, when the residents of Webster expect the town, only using 12%, to continue to invest in more Open Space, trails, sidewalks and parks without raising town taxes? At the pace the School District is spending our tax dollars, it leaves very little for the town and village to spend without taxing ourselves into bankruptcy.
As always, if you should you have any questions about your town government, please feel free to contact me during regular business hours at (585) 872-7068; or email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ronald W. Nesbitt