Webster Receiver of Taxes
Barbara J. Ottenschot
1000 Ridge Road
Webster, NY 14580
Penfield Receiver of Taxes
3100 Atlantic Avenue
Penfield, NY 14526
School tax bills are sent out at the end of August of every year. For residents that live in the towns of Webster, Ontario, and Walworth you may pay your taxes in person at Webster Town Hall. For those residents that live in the town of Penfield, you may pay your taxes in person at Penfield Town Hall. Please see your tax bill for specific hours of operation, as well as alternative payment methods.
For questions in regards to PILOT invoices, SCAR decisions, or Article 7 cases, please contact Brian Freeman. For revised tax bills, please contact Lisa Borrino.
Headline: Understanding the Tax Terminology
A TAX LEVY represents the total amount of money the district will collect from local property owners to support the budget. It is calculated after taking into account all other revenues, including financial support from local, state and federal governments. WCSD’s proposed 2020-21 levy is $111,092,837. This amount will be reduced in August by the amount of re-levies that the town and county will provide in early July.
The TAX RATE – or the amount to be charged per $1,000 of assessed property value – is figured by dividing the tax levy into the total assessed value of a district. The tax rate is finalized in August after towns finalize their assessments and New York State sets equalization rates which equalize the tax burden among towns. Then, the board of education sets the final tax rates for each of the four municipalities that make up the district. The rate publicized now is an estimate and may change due to assessments and equalization rates.
TAX BILLS – the final amount that each homeowner pays can vary depending on individual assessments and each town’s final tax rate. Taxpayers may now see their bills go up by more than the estimated figure that is released now while others may see their tax bills go up by less. In that situation, the district is not collecting more taxes. Rather, it is a reallocation of the tax burden to take into account shifting property values.
EQUALIZATION RATES - An equalization rate is New York State's measure of a municipality's level of assessment. In order to distribute school district or county taxes among multiple municipalities, the level of assessment of each municipality must be equalized to full market value. Once the full market value of each municipality is determined, the school district or county can determine how much in taxes should be collected from each municipality. Most of the state's more than 700 school districts distribute their taxes among segments of several municipalities, many of which have different levels of assessment. The number of municipal segments in a school district ranges from one to as many as fifteen. Webster CSD has 4 towns that all have varying degrees of equalization rates that change from year to year.
“TAX CAP” LAW IS NOT A TWO PERCENT LIMIT
New York’s property tax levy “cap,” signed into law in June 2011 has often been referred to as a “2 percent cap” on taxes by some people. However, the new law does not restrict any school district’s proposed tax levy increase to 2 percent—or any other amount. Instead, the legislation requires each district in the state to calculate its own tax levy limit to determine what level of voter support is necessary for budget approval.
The figure “2 percent” (or the rate of inflation, if less) is just one of eight variables that factor into each district’s calculation of what is called a “tax levy limit”.
Districts then add to that amount portions of the tax levy that are not subject to the “cap”. These include taxes levied to cover capital expenditures and a small portion of pension costs. What has been referred to as a cap is really a “tax levy limit plus exclusions”.
For Webster, the tax levy limit plus exclusions for 2020-21 is $111,092,837, a 3.66% increase compared to the current year tax levy. Based on the law, this represents the maximum allowable tax levy Webster can propose while requiring the support of a simple majority of voters (50 percent +1) for budget approval.