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Monday, July 23, 2012

New Hartford Public Library Vote...Dear Chuck,

In response to your comment left on our blog New Hartford Public Library Re-chartering...Here's their numbers... where you said:
I believe Mr Cunningham spread sheet is right. A $150000 house in New Hartford would be assessed at 150000 X .84 or $126000. The tax on that house would be 126 X $.66 or $83.16. The idea of equalization to get everyone paying the same ammount for the same true house value.
Unfortunately, Chuck, you and Mr. Cunningham are both wrong.

First of all, the library tax is an ad valorem tax, meaning that it is based on the assessed value of each parcel.

That being said, since the New Hartford Central School District crosses town lines to include not only the Town of New Hartford, but also the towns of Paris, Kirkland and Frankfort, it is necessary to apply the equalization rate of each town to the total taxable value of each town in order to determine the tax rate [or the share of the total levy] attributed to each town. The equalization rate is not applied to the assessed value of each parcel as in the example you provided in your comment.

Oneida County taxes also cross municipal boundaries and the same method used to determine the tax rate for each municipality for Oneida County taxes will be used to figure taxes for the New Hartford Public Library if they are successful in rechartering as a school district library.

To show that our reasoning is correct, we visited the Oneida County website to randomly looked up two (2) parcels in Kirkland, Paris and New Hartford; each parcel is assessed for $150,000. We wanted to determine the amount that each property owner pays for their Oneida County taxes.

If, as you state, Mr. Cunningham is correct, then each property owner assessed for $150,000 would pay the same amount of Oneida County taxes regardless of the town the parcel is located in.

We created a spreadsheet showing the two (2) parcels from each town:

Click here for a larger view of our spreadsheet!

Our spreadsheet clearly shows that in each town a parcel assessed for $150,000 pays the same as other like assessed parcels in their own town, but a parcel with an assessed value of $150,000 in Kirkland pays more county tax than a $150,000 assessed value home in New Hartford or Paris. A parcel assessed for $150,000 in Kirkland pays $1,649.03; followed by New Hartford at $1,222.26; with the Town of Paris paying the least at $1,012.25.

Several parcels in the Town of Frankfort are also in the New Hartford Central School District; however, they are in Herkimer County so we did not use them for this comparison.

Let's look again at Mr. Cunningham's spreadsheet.

According to Mr. Cunningham's spreadsheet, all homes in the New Hartford Central School District with an assessed value of $150,000 [which is typically used as an average assessed value in New Hartford] will pay about $83 a year regardless if they live in New Hartford, Kirkland, Paris or Frankfort; yet Mr. Cunningham shows a different tax rate for each town. That just doesn't make sense.


here is our spreadsheet:

Just as Oneida County tax rates are dependent upon the equalization rate of each municipality, so will the taxes paid to support the New Hartford Public Library as a school district library be dependent on where you live.

If the library recharter vote is successful, New Hartford Central School District residents who live in Kirkland will pay the most at $.85 per thousand of assessed value or $128 for a home assessed $150,000; New Hartford will pay $.66 per thousand of assessed value or about $99 on a $150,000 assessed value; Frankfort will pay $.74 per thousand or about $111 for a home assessed at $150,000 and the Town of Paris NHCSD residents will pay the least at $.55 per thousand of assessed value or about $83 for a home assessed for $150,000.

The fact that some of the NHCSD taxpayers in the other towns already have their own library that they support with their tax dollars will be a difficult pill to swallow to be sure; however, the most egregious part is the fact that the New Hartford Public Library Board of Trustees never reached out to the residents of Paris, Frankfort and Kirkland to make it known that, as residents within the New Hartford Central School District, they could also gather signatures to seek a spot on the board of trustees in the upcoming election should rechartering be approved by voters. An article placed in the New Hartford Town Crier will never reach taxpayers in other towns. The library trustees should be ashamed of themselves for that!

Chuck, we hope we have helped to clarify the cost for taxpayers if the library is rechartered as a school district library. We welcome all comments...


Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work. Everyone would be in the dark on this if it were not for your indept reporting.

A library independent of town board financing is a ticket for less accountability and unchecked future tax increases. And if you believe real property taxpayers will reap the $450,000 savings to the town budget, I've got some swampland in Florida for sell...The library is a great community asset, but at what cost?
The elite who run the library have to get in touch with reality; taxpayers can't continue to absorb the increasing cost of public services beyond those absolutely necessary. The local elite are practicing the policies of tax and spend like their brethern in Washington DC, regardly of the burden place on this and future generations. Opps, I forget, it's for the children. Oh you mean the children whose future we are mortaging? Oh those children.

Anonymous said...

Could you please forward this to local media? Something is very wrong here.

Anonymous said...

This too will pass just like every other vote in NH. The facts do not matter . How about billing each property owner for the amount due and make the payment optional that way those that do not object can pay their "share", How many do you think will pony up?og