Mr. Edward Mangano, Nassau County Executive
Mr. George Maragos, Nassau County Comptroller
Mr. James Davis, Acting County Assessor
The Rockville Centre Board of Education is writing this letter in response to the many comments we have received from members of our community with respect to the 2013-14 property tax bills that they have received. We have been questioned as to why if the school district has an imposed tax cap, an individual’s home property taxes has risen by a percentage greater than that allowed under state law. Although, our District stayed within the tax cap and raised the tax levy by only 3.55%, many residents have incurred property tax increases far in excess of this amount.
Since the imposition of the tax cap, we have repeatedly tried to explain to our residents how many variables are factored into the formulation of our assessments and property taxes. However, it is of little help when County officials, in trying to explain how these numbers are derived, consistently try to shift the blame of these increases onto school districts and purport that school taxes are out of control, when, in fact, most districts are operating within the tax cap.
Over the past 5 years in the Rockville Centre School District, including three years before the tax cap was in place, the average budget increase has been 2.68% and the average tax levy increase has been 3.74%. These numbers can hardly be quantified as out of control spending. Yet, the average tax rate increase has been 11.15% annually over the same 5-year period. This figure, which is calculated based on assessment data, is the one which draws the ire from taxpayers.
In an attempt to clarify and educate this Board of Education and its community members, we invite each of you to a Public meeting where a dialog can take place to explain how all parties are accountable for the assessments and tax rate. We, as a Board of Education, would like to have the opportunity to be educated so that, in the future, we can better explain this to our residents.
We thank you in advance for your comments and participation in this valuable community service. We would like to have this Public meeting as soon as your schedule permits.
Rockville Centre Board of Education