Wednesday, September 29, 2004


Cynics would say this is why schools don’t want their graduates to be able to read and think well: the North Platte School Board voted this week to cut the property tax levy . . . but will still have nearly $1 million more in revenue from property taxes than they had the year before.

Why? Because it’s a formula, silly. You multiply the tax levy times the assessed valuation of the property. Since valuations have increased as much as 16 percent in rural areas, and are averaging 4.1 percent higher in town, you can actually lower the levy rate and look like heroes to the taxpayers, and still rake in more dough than the year before.

Revenues from local property taxes will increase from $11.5 million last year to $12.4 million for the current year.

The North Platte levy fell from about $1.02 per $100 valuation to about $1. It figures to school taxes of $1,000 for the owner of a $100,000 house. That’s about a $20 “break’’ from the year before. Woo hoo!

But whoa! Pay attention here. A house valued for tax purposes at $100,000 last year would have increased in assessment status to $104,100, according to the 4.1 percent average annual valuation increase for the county.

So actually, that poor schmoe will be paying $20 MORE in school taxes this year than last year: $1,041.

Kind of puts the feel-good headline on a story like this in perspective, doesn’t it?

See for yourself: check the story, “North Platte School Board Cuts Tax Levy” published Tuesday on www.northplattebulletin.com

Remember, when you read about what politicians are doing with your money, especially in an election year, you need to use your eyeballs AND your head.

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