There have been a number of taxpayer questions regarding the Town of Owego's school tax rates. Taxes are driven by two factors: assessed value and equalization rate.
The equalization rate for each town is assigned by New York State. From 2019-20 to 2020-21, the Town of Owego’s equalization rate has dropped from 72.4% to 68.0%. The equalization rate is the percentage that the Town’s properties are assessed, as compared to market value. This means that the Town of Owego’s properties are assessed at 68% of full market value. School Taxes are based on market value. As an example, a home assessed by the Town of Owego for $68,000 would be taxed at a market value of $100,000 ($68,000 / 0.68 = $100,000). A decrease in the equalization rate will cause the tax rate on full value to increase, because a lower equalization rate factors up to a higher full market value. Assuming the same $68,000 house with a 64% equalization rate would be taxed at a market value of $106,250 ($68,000 / 0.64 = $106,250). Further information on equalization rates can be accessed at the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance’s website (https://www.tax.ny.gov/pit/property/learn/eqrates.htm). Contact information for The Department of Taxation and Finance can be found at https://www.tax.ny.gov/help/contact/default.htm