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Focus on Your School

By Dr. Paul Schley Cornell District Administrator

It’s the sixth year in a row, that the taxpayers of the Cornell School District have not seen an increase in their school mill rate! This is the lowest Cornell School District mill rate in at least 25 years (all the farther we looked back)!

Please remember your property tax amount is based on your property assessment, so while the school mill rate decreased, your school portion of property taxes could have increased, if your property is assessed at a higher level this year. Also, please remember there are other governmental entities that assess property taxes, besides the school district, to make up your entire property tax bill.

The mill rate from the 2013-14 school year through the 2018-19 school year, was 11.6810, 9.4129, 8.9440, 7.4632, 7.2117 and 6.9323. This year, the mill rate levied by the Cornell School District is 6.1892, which means for a $100,000 home, the property taxes because of the school district, would be $618.92. However, please plan on an increase in the mill rate next year.

While I’m not anticipating a large increase in the mill rate next year, I do believe we will see an increase as our property valuation per student increases. The more property value a school has per student, the less state aid they receive and the more local taxes need to make up the difference.

This is part of the “equalization aid formula,” which does just that when it’s followed; it equalizes the property tax liability across the state for funding schools. Of course there are a myriad of variables that affect the mill rate and state aid, such as referendums, state categorical aid, federal aid and other revenues.

Your board of education has been very fiscally responsible, while focusing on student achievement, as they have determined budgets and planned for the future. The Cornell Board of Education should be applauded for their efforts.

Our test scores have consistently been one of the best in the area and our taxes are among the lowest in the area, providing the citizens of the Cornell School District a lot of bang for their buck!