CREST HAVEN â€” An apparent leveling off the county’s real estate boom shouldn’t have any effect next year on county government’s previous five-year history of having more money than it can spend, and cutting real estate taxes as a result.
The county Tax Board is estimating the equalized valuation of ratables to be used in the county’s 2006 budget will total some $43 billion.
That’s a $7.6 billion, the highest dollar boost ever, 21.5 percent increase, compared to last year’s $6.9 billion, 24 percent increase.
The 2006 numbers are estimated, but reliable.
The current escalation in ratables started in 2001 and began the five-year record of signifi-cant tax rate reductions.
Ratables were $15.6 billion in 2000 and the county equalized tax rate was 41.5 cents.
This year’s tax rate is 20.6 cents. It seems certain to drop into the teens next year.
The 1990s, when ratables were stuck at the $13 billion range and the county tax rate was inching up, are a distant memory. In 1995, the county laid off a handful of people and the county tax rate was stuck at just under 42 cents.
What a difference a decade makes.
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