Calculate Your Own Unfairness

Copyright © Bill Rubin
Content last updated .

The Fairview Fire District in Dutchess County, New York, comprises parts of the Town of Hyde Park and parts of the Town of Poughkeepsie. The Fairview fire tax levy has been apportioned unfairly between Hyde Park and Poughkeepsie in recent years. In alone — the most unfair year — Hyde Park taxpayers paid 15.6 percent more fire tax than they should have, while Poughkeepsie taxpayers paid 6.3 percent less than they should have. For more information, see my report Unfairness in Fairview — Inequitable Apportionment of the Fire Tax Levy. Fairview property owners can use the form below to calculate the amount of fire tax overpayment or underpayment they made in each of the last eight years.

Full Market Value

All you need is the full market value of your property for each year of interest. This information appears on your county/town tax bills. On each bill, there should be a line right below your name and mailing address with a sentence like this:

The assessor estimates the Full Market Value of this property as of was: xxx,xxx

where “xxx,xxx” is the full market value. This example is for the county/town tax bill. (The “” date corresponds to the assessment roll, upon which the school tax and the county/town tax are based.) In other words, the “” date corresponds to the county/town tax bill, and so on.

Calculate Your Unfairness

To determine your unfairness, simply enter your full market value from each of your tax bills into the table below. If you don't have all your tax bills, you can leave out some years. Alternatively, you can interpolate your full market value for missing years from nearby years.

Year of Tax Bill Full Market Value on Tax Bill ($) Overpayment Amount ($)
Hyde Park Poughkeepsie

If your property is in Hyde Park, read from the Hyde Park column; if your property is in Poughkeepsie, read from the Poughkeepsie column. All overpayments are in red; all underpayments (negative values) are in blue.


  1. The reason the Hyde Park overpayments are more than double the Poughkeepsie underpayments is that the total taxable market value of the Poughkeepsie portion of Fairview is more than double that of the Hyde Park portion. The exact ratio (which is currently around 2.5) varies somewhat from year to year.
  2. In and , the direction of unfairness is reversed. In , the apportionment is essentially fair; that is, the tax rates are the same to within about one cent per $1,000 of market value.
  3. When the mouse is positioned over an overpayment/underpayment amount for some year, the display changes to show the corresponding unfairness rate, in dollars per $1,000 of market value.
  4. The total overpayment/underpayment values do not take into account the time value of money (interest charges or gains).