Ronald W. Nesbitt

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Mar 16

True Tax Rate - What is this?

Posted on March 16, 2012 at 8:46 AM by PattiAnn Schultz

I have just recently begun to hear again the phase 'True Tax Rate" being talked about by the Webster Central School District and the Monroe County School Board Association. In fact the recent book put out by the Monroe County School Board Association called Facts and Figures only quotes True Tax Rate throughout their publication.

Having seen this coming about again, I decided to dust off a column I wrote back in 2011 and repeat it for the Webster residents to read and understand about the True Tax Rate. I have adjusted the numbers to reflect the current Webster Central School tax rate that was paid in July on your 2011 tax bill.

The True Tax Rate is not a number used for figuring out your school tax bill as some would like you to think. Many school districts include several towns within their boundaries. Each of the portions of the towns used to makeup the school districts will have their own level of valuation. This is why a True Tax Rate is calculated. The ideal situation would be to have every town in Monroe County at 100% valuation so when comparing tax rates we are comparing the same thing. This is not possible for a variety of reasons related to each town’s circumstances.

Unfortunately, this is not the case, and in Webster we have not done a revaluation since 2004. The State of New York has given Webster an equalization rate of 89% for 2011. What this means is to compare Webster to other towns at 100% valuation you need to multiply 89% times the Webster Central School present tax rate of $ 22.64 to get $ 20.15. This is the True Tax Rate which is only used to compare towns at less than 100% or against other towns which are already at 100% valuation.

While the Webster School District has done a good job at controlling the True Tax Rate when compared to other districts in Monroe County, it is not a means for figuring out your Webster School tax bill. The 2011 rate charged is on your bill, which is and figured out at $ 22.64 times the taxable value of your home. Examples, 100,000 valued houses will be charged $ 2,264.00 in school tax, or the average home value in Webster (at 165,000) will be charged $3,735.60 in school tax. You will not be charged the $ 20.15 True Tax Rate number people are loosely throwing around. This is a comparison figure only not a tax rate.

Today, I offer you another example. Take the Town Tax Rate of $ 4.33 x 89% which would equal the Town of Webster’s True Tax Rate of $ 3.85 which you could compare to other towns. Would you compare this number to Penfield when we have a police force and they do not? You have to be careful as to how and what you are comparing the “True Tax Rate” to, whether it is Town or School District.

In any case True Tax Rate does not translate to what is printed on your tax bill because it becomes meaningless it that regard.

If you have any questions about your town government, please contact me during regular business hours at (585)872-7068; or email me anytime at

Ronald W. Nesbitt
Webster Town Supervisor