Near the end of the report is a set of tables showing the tax rates which apply to the sixteen tax districts which make up our school district.
That's right - sixteen. Most folks know that our school district covers an area which is all or part of many municipalities: Hilliard, Columbus, Dublin and several townships. Depending on when a parcel of township land was annexed into a city, that parcel may have fully transferred from the township to the city, or it might have been annexed under more recent laws which allows a parcel to be in both a city and a township. Each of those combinations end up as a separate taxing district to reflect the different combinations and rates of taxes the property owners will pay.
For decades, real estate agents have been fond of the phrase "Hilliard Schools, Columbus taxes" when trying to sell a house that's in the part of our school district which has been annexed by the City of Columbus. While that can be a selling point for such a house, it also troubles folks who live in other parts of the school district, many of whom think they getting stuck paying higher school taxes.
Here's a table of the effective millage rates for the tax districts in our school district, compiled from the CAFR:
|Tax District||Effective Rate|
|Prairie Twp/City of Columbus||97.62|
|City of Columbus/Washington Twp||91.75|
|City of Dublin/Washington Twp||91.00|
|City of Hilliard/Washington Twp||90.65|
|Norwich Twp/City of Columbus||89.43|
|City of Hilliard||89.33|
|City of Hilliard/Brown Twp||88.90|
|Brown Twp/City of Columbus||88.90|
|City of Columbus||82.03|
|Union County/Washington Twp||80.17|
So yes indeed, the folks in our school district who live in the City of Columbus, and are not also part of a township, have lower property taxes than those of us who don't. The difference can usually be attributed to which municipality provides the fire/safety services. The fire/safety services in the townships are funded via property taxes, while the City of Columbus funds their fire/safety services via other revenue streams, primarily their income taxes.
It also matters when the various tax levies were enacted, as the voted millage goes down over time as property values go up. So a 10 mill township levy passed 20 years ago might be collecting today at an effective rate of 5 mills, if the value of the properties doubled over those 20 years (keeping the dollars collected constant).
The key thing to understand, relative to school funding at least, is that all of us pay exactly the same effective millage to our school district, which currently is 89.35 voted mills (or 42.03 effective mills). No one gets a discount.