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Taxes were Low in 1914 and so were Salaries

Footnotes to Long Island History

Taxes were low in 1914 and so were salaries

January 18, 1962

by

Thomas R. Bayles


       An interesting comparison of school costs and taxes of the six schools making up Middle island central District 12 back in 1914 and the present is shown by the following figures:

       According to the Directory of Public Schools published by J. Henry Young, superintendent for 1914. Coram district had an assessed valuation of $151,505, with a tax rate of 25 cents; West Yaphank valuation, $131,210and a tax rate of 23 cents; West Middle Island district was valued at $74,290, with a rate of 21 cents; Middle Island district was assessed at $106,620and the tax rate was 35 cents; Yaphank has an assessment of 169,215 with a tax rate of 25 cents; Ridge was assessed at $237,680 and its tax rate was only 15 cents.

       This made a total for the six districts comprising the present Middle Island Central School District 12 of $870,520 with an average tax rate of 25 cents. The present assessed valuation of the central district is $9,500,000and the rate last year was $8.07, with a budget of over 1,000,000. In 1914 there were not much over 100 scholars attending all six schools and now the number is nearly 2,000, which gives some idea of the growth in this area in the last 47 years.

       The salaries of town officials paid in 1926 were quite different from the present time, according to a printed list prepared by Walter I. Jones, who was town clerk in that year. Robert Macintosh, supervisor, is shown as receiving a salary of $1,200 a year; Walter I. Jones, town clerk, $2,700 yearly; eight justices of the peace each received a salary of $1,000 and six assessors received $1,000 each for the year; the receiver of taxes is shown as receiving $2,500, while the overseers of the poor only received $500 each, and Dr. William H. Roe, health officer received $1,200. No salary is shown for for the superintendent of highways, although in the list of bills audited are many large payments to Arthur Murray, who was superintendent of highways then.

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