Taxes after the re-assessment

Last year, the county performed a court-ordered re-assessment of all property values. This year, all taxing entities have to reset the millage rates so that the revenue they bring in remains unchanged (but they can still increase taxes after that). The county and township have posted their preliminary millage rates for 2021 (they may still be tweaked slightly). However, the major caveat is that the main taxing authority here – the school district – runs on a June budget cycle so will not reset its millages until this summer.

All that said, here’s an example using the numbers for my house. In 2020 and prior, my house was assessed at $115,840. The county millage rate in 2020 was 5.461 per thousand. To calculate the taxes owed, its therefore (115,840/1000) * 5.461 = $633. The township’s millage in 2020 was 5.731 per thousand, so (115,840/1000) * 5.731 = $664. However, the township also collects sewer and recycling fees, which were $548 and $76 last year, for a total of $1,288. For comparison, the 2020 school taxes for my property were near $5,250 based on the millage rate of 45.3025.

This year, my house’s value was re-assessed at $226,550. The county’s preliminary millage rate for 2021 is 3.112 per thousand. So, doing the math for next year, (226,550/1000) * 3.112 = $705, so I’ll be paying about 10% ($73) more in county taxes next year than I did this year even though the county kept its tax rates the same. Last night the township set its revenue-neutral rate at 3.0269, but mentioned they expect a 2.65% increase this year. I did the math, that’d give a millage of 3.1071. Using that preliminary number, and doing the math again, (226,550/1000) * 3.1071 = $704. So my township taxes will rise 6% ($40) this year, about double the overall increase. I don’t have the sewer and recycling numbers for this year yet, but those will go on top of the $704.

Judging from these results it seems that the Garden City area will be among the losers in the re-assessment, albeit probably not the worst. I think its likely that the school district’s numbers will be similar to the townships since Nether Providence makes up the bulk of the district. A 5% increase there would be around $250 for us, so next year we’re looking at a total increase between county, township and school of $360 – normally about double what taxes increase from year to year. Given that the re-assessment was caused by a court case brought by wealthier land owners, many of whom also appealed their re-assessments, it seems the new taxes will fall heavier on the middle class. Seems to be how the world always works.

Update (26 Jan 2021) – the reset millage for the school district was set to 25.6727 in the preliminary budget, which would represent over a 10% increase for my house – even before the usual annual increase around 3%.