Expired school mill levy, commercial property tax rate adjustments lead to decline
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — Property tax bills will tick down a notch starting this month, thanks to the expiration of a school district mill levy and a small decline in some other tax rates across the county.
All that will add up to about $100 less in taxes per $500,000 of value when tax bills go into the mail this month, according to county assessor Beverly Breakstone. While voters approved a new school district mill levy in November, it is smaller than the one that expired at the end of the year.
The decrease isn’t linked to the dramatic dip in assessed property values in Summit County, expected to be near 20 percent lower than in the previous valuation period. Those changes will show up in property tax bills starting in 2011.
This year’s decline is based on some other adjustments made by the assessors office mostly related to depreciation in commercial business property values. The county assessors office has the ability to make those adjustments in the years between the two-year general property tax valuation, Breakstone explained.
The bigger drop expected next year is linked with the steep decline in the value of some properties in Summit County. Not all properties were hit equally hard. Some geographic pockets maintained values, as did certain types of properties. But across the board, the valuations — generally based on sale prices of comparable properties — are expected to dip.
That may be good news for taxpayers, but will also leave a significant hole in the county budget, which will be trimmed by about $2 million for 2011.