As some of you may have noticed, this year the DRA changed the appearance of their Municipal Tax Rate Calculation form (the page that shows the individual components of your municipal tax rate) to a more compact format. What you may not have noticed on the form is that the DRA also changed the order in which they list the individual tax rate components.
Although this may seem like an insignificant change, if you are in the habit of simply entering the tax rates into Assessing in the same order in which the DRA prints them on the Municipal Tax Rate Calculation form, your rates (and subsequently your calculations and tax bills) will be incorrect.
In order to show you the effect of this change, below is an example of DRA’s Municipal Tax Rate Calculation form, as well as the Calculate Taxes tab in Assessing. We color coded the individual tax rates to illustrate the difference in sequence.
- Yellow = Municipal
- Red = County
- Green = Local Education/School
- Blue = State Education/State Ed
DRA’s Municipal Tax Rate Calculation
Previously, the County rate was at the end of the list. This year the County rate comes right after the Municipal rate, which means the other rates (Local Education, State Education) also shift down in position on the list.
As the sequence of the tax rates in Assessing did not change, you will need to match the categories of the rates, as opposed to simply following the order in which they were listed on the DRA’s form. For example, note how the County rate (shown in red) is listed second on the DRA’s form but it is listed fourth in Assessing.
If you enter the DRA’s rates in Assessing in the exact same order in which DRA listed them your bills will be wrong. While the overall tax rate will be the same for the majority of your tax bills, the tax rate (and consequently the tax bill amounts) for your utility parcels will be wrong. Additionally, the summarization of the component tax rates listed on all of your tax bills will be wrong.
As long as you enter the individual rates based on the tax rate name, you shouldn’t have a problem. However, after entering all the rates into Assessing, verify you have the correct rates for each category by comparing this year’s rates to the previous year’s rates. They will not match exactly, as rates and assessments fluctuate from year to year, but they should be relatively close.