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Oct 17, 2013 5:34 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

East Quogue School District Tax Rate Nearly Double Original Estimates

Oct 23, 2013 12:44 PM

Most East Quogue homeowners can expect to shell out more in school property taxes than originally projected—more than double in some cases—due to an overall decline in the assessed value of land in the hamlet.

At their meeting last week, East Quogue Board of Education members, acting on the recommendation of district business manager Betty Lev, tentatively set the 2013-14 tax rate at $11.35 per $1,000 of assessed value, which, if it stands, would be an increase of 9.3 percent from the prior year’s rate of $10.38.

In the spring, school officials estimated that the district’s tax rate would increase by ONLY about 4.6 percent, to $10.86 per $1,000, under the approved $22.4 million budget for the 2013-14 school year. But Ms. Lev said the tax rate had to increase due to the dwindling assessed value of homes in East Quogue: Land values in the hamlet declined overall by more than 6 percent last year, from $1.89 billion to approximately $1.77 billion, she said.

“We’re not alone in that,” Ms. Lev said. “Assessed values have been on the decline all over.”

Therefore, a taxpayer whose home is assessed at $500,000 can now expect to pay $5,675 in school taxes this year, or approximately $485 more than last year. Originally, those same taxpayers were expecting to pay about $5,430 in school taxes, or $240 more than last year.

The average assessed value of a home in East Quogue is now $618,000, according to the Southampton Town tax assessor’s office.

Even with the overall decline, tax assessments for most of the 3,400 houses in the East Quogue School District either stayed the same or increased, according to Southampton Town Tax Assessor Lisa Goree. She noted that less than 1,100 homes, or about 31.8 percent of those in the hamlet, have actually decreased in value. The owners of the remaining houses, including the 223 that saw an increase in value, will bear the full brunt of the tax increase.

Ms. Goree said land values declined overall in the hamlet, noting that the net worth typically fluctuates from year to year.

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22.41 million with a property tax base of 1.77billion is $12.67 per 1000 assessed.

Where is the district coming up with the $11.35 number? Are they using reserves to plug the gap? Floating bonds? pilot?

By C Law (354), Water Mill on Oct 17, 13 7:08 PM
The $11.35 per thousand dollars rate is still a projection at this point...meaning that it will be a lot higher than your figure of $12.67 when all is finalized. c'est la vie. Texas and the Carolina's are looking mighty good lately. SMH :/
By Jaws (245), Amity Island on Oct 18, 13 1:58 AM
Well yeah, that was my point. I know its just an estimate, but 12.67 per 1000 assessed is more like a 22% increase over prior year $10.38.

A more detailed article would be nice
By C Law (354), Water Mill on Oct 19, 13 6:40 AM
Can they do that? Raise taxes that high after the budget was voted on a set amount? So, where I am suppose to come with the extra cash for this tax increase. I don't get raises. The schools better start learning how to make cuts and spend less. "Do more with less" just like I do. It's getting really tough to be able to afford to live here these days...SMH :/
By Jaws (245), Amity Island on Oct 18, 13 1:52 AM
3 members liked this comment
Lev stated "reason for jump is dwindling value of homes"- to a small extent but how about your spending and the benefit packages of the employees? That's the biggest part. What he also doesn't realize is as they create higher taxes in the community the value of houses will continue to go down since it will be harder to sell houses in the community where taxes are so high. You are only hurting yourselves in the long run. Benefits need to be controlled and school districts merged. That will help.
By realistic (472), westhampton on Oct 18, 13 8:08 AM
5 members liked this comment
Just like they took buses away from those that live within a mile of the school, to save around $30000. The buses pass those stops everyday to pick up the children that live outside the 1 mile zone. Meanwhile there are plenty of roads without sidewalks in that area puting the burden on the parents. Time to send this administation a message.
By theprogram (37), east quogue on Oct 18, 13 10:00 AM
Why do all of you hate children so much?

Government employees know you selfish, greedy people have wads of cash stuffed under your mattresses, and it's time to share the wealth!

By RealityFirst (597), Bridgehampton on Oct 18, 13 10:13 AM
Time for the Board of Education to open up ALL the collective bargaining contracts for the employees at the EQ Elementary School. Employee costs make up the majority of the budget. The real property values can no longer sustain the high pensions and benefits which are being paid to the employees. YES, the BOE can open these contracts!!!
By crusader (391), East Quogue on Oct 18, 13 1:05 PM
The rate of inflation in the U.S. is 1.5% right now. The prime rate is 3.25%. Median Household income is down 4.4% versus a year ago, but the school budget is up 9%? If those growth rates all held at these levels, I will be paying 100% of my income after Federal and State Income Taxes to school taxes in only 12 years. These are the people we have entrusted to teach our children Mathematics.
By RSEQNY (6), East Quogue on Oct 18, 13 4:35 PM
It is time to close these little school districts like East Quopue. Why not send them to a school like Westhampton Beach which is a better district better school and will save taxpayers money. The time for special schools for every little community is fast coming to an end. Consolidation is the answer, because it has never been proven that is East Quoque is any better than any other school in the immediate area.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Oct 18, 13 4:46 PM
Eastport and South Manor merged...their taxes skyrocketed after a promise of them being lowered
By Jaws (245), Amity Island on Oct 18, 13 11:45 PM
That is because Eastport was duped into merging with a school district with a quickly growing student population in Manorville. Why nobody saw that coming is beyond me. This is not the case everywhere, but it does underscore the need for caution before merging districts.
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Oct 19, 13 12:30 PM
1 member liked this comment
Bearing in mind, of course, that the school you want East Quogue to merge with actually is interested in merging. Which Westhampton Beach isn't!
By eqmomof3 (22), EAST QUOGUE on Oct 19, 13 2:28 PM
2 members liked this comment
That's ok if WHB doesn't want it because the NY state education dept will soon be forcing consolidation. They already set aside grant money to study the consolidation issue. Some districts have the arrogance to think taxpayers have an endless supply of money.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Oct 20, 13 8:57 AM
There is a solution to the East End's school tax issues: Every person in every district pays the exact same rate and the money is apportioned to schools based on school size.

The larger solution for the country as a whole: Same idea - only ditch property taxes for a federal school tax paid by all Americans and distributed to schools with each school getting the exact same "per child" allowance. We are the only industrialized democracy that used property taxes - the result: poor schools ...more
By witch hazel (224), tatooine on Oct 28, 13 12:07 PM
If consolidation is done correctly it will cost less. The whole country has county school districts. You liberals like to preach choice and democracy so why not preach choice of education. That will save billions, and make a better education system. Instead this country is hostage to teacher unions, and people who want to teach gay marriage and every other liberal idea. Teach learning and values in school not lifestyles in our schools.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Oct 28, 13 12:24 PM
1 member liked this comment