Weekly Feature

2017-08-10 / Front Page

Lancaster Central board sets final tax rates for 2017-18

by ALAN RIZZO Reporter

With final assessment values in, the Lancaster Central Board of Education on Monday approved property tax rates for district residents, which came in lower than those estimated by district officials in April.

According to district documentation, final rates are $16.99 per $1,000 of assessed value for Lancaster residents, $15.70 per $1,000 for Cheektowaga residents and $372.07 per $1,000 for Elma residents.

Differences in tax rates between the towns are a result of the equalization rate, which is New York’s measurement of a municipality’s level of assessment.

The final rates are 16 cents, 68 cents and $6.21 less for Lancaster, Cheektowaga and Elma residents, respectively, than those previously estimated by the district. The estimated rates were $17.15 per $1,000, $16.38 per $1,000 and $378.28 per $1,000.

Jamie Phillips, Lancaster Central’s assistant superintendent for business and support services, said the final tax rates will not affect the district’s tax levy — which remains unchanged at $50.5 million — due to an overall $69.5 million increase in assessments in Lancaster.

“Our budget still balances,” she said. “There was a significant amount of assessed value added to the Lancaster town and village. That was what made the rates come in lower than what we originally projected.”

In other matters, Superintendent Michael Vallely encouraged residents to return the census cards they received by mail to give the pilot program the district is trying the best shot for success. He said the effort is saving the district both money and time on finding and employing census workers, and will provide valuable census information.

“We’re hopeful that more data will result through this mailing,” he said. “While it’s definitely time to try this option, it still does remain to be seen if it’s going to be more efficacious than sending people throughout our neighborhoods.”

The board will hold its next meeting at 7 p.m. Monday Aug. 28, at Central Avenue Elementary, 149 Central Ave.

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