As part of our ongoing efforts to keep you informed, we are providing you with this update on the excess taxes collected last fall in the Chenango Valley Central School District.
In September 2012, a clerical error at the Broome-Tioga BOCES Central Business Office resulted in incorrect tax rate calculations for Chenango Valley.School tax bills were issued using these incorrect rates, causing an overcollection of taxes.The September 2012 tax warrant, which is the official amount to be collected from district taxpayers, was $18,187,668; the actual amount collected was $18,480,919 – an excess collection of $293,251.
The District and the Board of Education, at its regularly scheduled meeting on November 14, 2012, discussed the incident and considered the options for correcting the situation.There were two pieces of legal guidance that the Board of Education considered.The first was a legal opinion from the Office of the State Controller from 1983 that appeared to support refunding in the case of a mistaken overpayment.This appeared to be directed toward a situation where an individual inadvertently paid more than they should have and did not appear to apply to a situation where all taxpayers in a community overpaid their taxes.The Board made their decision based on a statute in Education Law that came out in 2011 with the Property Tax Cap legislation.This legislation clearly states the procedure to follow in the event of an overcollection due to clerical error.This law dictates that “the school district shall place the excess amount of the levy in reserve…and shall use such funds and any interest earned thereon to offset the tax levy for the ensuing school year.”The decision was made to place the excess funds in a dedicated, interest-bearing account, to be used solely to reduce the amount of taxes to be collected in September 2013.
We are currently developing the budget proposal for the 2013-14 school year, which will be presented for public vote on May 21, 2013. This budget proposal will include a tax levy amount that has been reduced by the overcollection amount, plus interest. Your September 2013 tax bill will include an insert that shows the tax rate before, and after, being reduced by the overcollection amount plus interest.
We appreciate your continued patience and understanding as we work through this issue.If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Beth Donahue, School Business Executive, at 762-6803 or via email at [email protected].