BY AMAYAH SPENCE
Due to the findings of a state-set equalization formula, it has been discovered that property values for Orangetown have risen this year while property values for Clarkstown have remained the same. As a result, even though these two towns belong to the same school district, the taxes for Clarkstown residents will rise by 1.40 percent this year, while the taxes for Orangetown residents will rise by 14.39 percent.
The state equalization rate is a formula designed to measure the relationship between a property’s assessed value and its market value. Clarkstown’s equalization rate remained at a steady 33%, meaning that a house assessed to be at a value of $166,000 actually has a market value of $500,000. However, Orangetown’s state equalization rate went from 50% to 45%, meaning that a property assessed at $250,250 would actually have a market value that went from $500,000 to $568,000.
In addition to this quick change in town taxes and finances, the movement of a large pharmaceutical company, Industrial Reality Group (IRG), from Pearl River is another factor that will have a large impact on the Nanuet school district in the near future. Though IRG agreed in 2015 to buy 200 acres of land in order to help maintain revenue in the town, the amount they pay will decrease this year, creating another issue for town finances.
Though tax increases have happened in the Nanuet school district before, according to Superintendent Mike McNeill, they’ve “never before been in such a position” with rises that are “unsustainable.” As a result, McNeill is unsure of how the tax shares will even out. Furthermore, some Orangetown residents are unsure of how they will pay these suddenly heightened taxes.