By Ann Marie Shambaugh
Property taxes will soon be on their way down for people who live in the Zionsville school district. The tax rate will decrease by 22.5 cents thanks in large part to an increase in assessed property values and refinancing of debt in 2014.
Mike Shafer, chief financial officer for Zionsville Community Schools, announced the news at the Feb. 9 school board meeting. The district learned of the lower rate earlier this month through an annual notice that is released in advance of the state’s final budget order, the last step in a budgeting process that began last fall. The rate will become effective Feb. 13.
School board members said they expected the tax rate to drop but were surprised by the amount.
“I don’t think anyone, at least on the [school]board, would’ve expected quite that significant of a savings,” said Shari Alexander Richey, school board president.
The school district tax rate will go from about $1.59 to $1.37 per $100 of assessed value. For a business with an assessed property value of $550,000, that means a savings of about $1,239. Residential property owners are expected to see savings as well, although the final amount is more difficult to determine because of various factors such as deductions and caps.
Assessed property values within the school district increased 8.1 percent for 2015, the largest jump since 2001. This, combined with the 2014 refinancing, led to perfect conditions for a lower tax rate, Shafer said.
“Those two great events just happened to converge for us … at just the right time to maximize our results,” he said.