When the levy brakes

First, a reprint from 2005:

Under the 5-percent cap law, the assessed value can go up by a maximum of 5 percent per year, regardless of actual market value, unless there is a change in ownership or a substantial change in the property itself. And the market value, they estimate, has risen a little more than 11 percent this year; however, the assessed value has risen by — wait for it — 4.998 percent. (Remind me to hire these people next time I need hairs split.)

For this year, read 9.19 and 4.999 percent.

You might think — and you would be correct — that the longer a property remains under the cap, the greater the disparity between the market value and the taxable market value. This year, the difference is about 9.4 percent.

The actual tax rate, which is not subject to the cap, will be determined in the fall; last year it went up 0.84 percent.

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