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Tax rate plunges by $1.03 for Albion Central School

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 August 2019 at 1:15 pm

ALBION – The tax rate for Albion Central School is $14.44 per $1,000 of assessed property for 2019-20, which is down $1.03 from 2018-19 school year.

In 2018-19, only Barker at $15.21 was less than Albion at $15.47 per $1,000 of assessed property.

The Albion Board of Education approved the tax warrant on Monday, setting the tax rate at 6.7 percent lower than the previous year.

Although the tax rate is down, the district will be collecting the same amount in property taxes, $8,449,094, as in 2018-19. This is the 11th time in the past 13 years the school district has either kept taxes flat or reduced them.

Th tax rate is down due to rising assessments in the school district following a reassessment in most of the towns that are in the school district. Ridgeway didn’t do a town-wide reassessment so that town’s tax rate for the Albion school district will be down by 12 cents to $15.35, instead of a drop to $14.44.

Those whose tax assessments increased by more than 6.7 percent from a year ago will actually pay a higher school tax bill despite the low tax rate. Those with assessments that dropped or increased less than 6.7 percent will pay less in Albion school taxes in 2019-20.

Derek Vallese, the school district’s business administrator, said Albion had the second lowest tax rate in 2018-19 among school districts in Orleans, Niagara and Genesee counties. The new rates haven’t been set yet by all of the districts.

After Barker at $15.21 and Albion at $15.47 in 2018-19, the rates in the three counties include: Niagara Falls, $15.71; Lyndonville, $16.35; Kendall, $17.02; Lewiston-Porter, $17.07; Pembroke, $19.00; Starpoint, $19.67; Pavilion, $20.43; Elba, $20.56; Roy-Hart, $20.83; Alexander, $21.15; Wilson, $21.42; Oakfield-Alabama, $22.16; Medina, $22.46; Batavia, $22.79; Holley, $22.79; Newfane, $23.36; Byron-Bergen, $24.11; Lockport, $24.74; and Le Roy, $24.83.

Linda Weller of the Albion Board of Education asked if Albion was offering less to students given the low tax rate.

Michael Bonnewell, the district superintendent, said Albion has significant budget savings by contracting transportation and food services.

“We also run pretty tight contracts,” Bonnewell responded during Monday’s meeting.

The district includes many benefits for retirees, but not some of the more costly benefits, Bonnewell said.

He also said the district hasn’t had to cut programs in the past 10 years, while others with higher tax rates have reduced extracurricular activities and had big reductions in staff. Albion has gradually reduced some positions the past 15 years in response to a declining student enrollment.

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