Thursday, March 3, 2016

DiNapoli: More School Districts Take Initial Steps to Exceed Tax Cap

The percentage of school districts initially planning to override New York’s property tax cap in 2016-17 has nearly doubled when compared to last year, but still remains relatively small, according to preliminary data filed with the office of State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. As of March 2nd, 6 percent, or 36, of the 601 school districts that reported, indicated that they will seek an override of the tax cap. Last year, 3.5 percent, indicated plans to override the tax cap.  

Property tax levy growth for school districts is capped at 0.12 percent above current levels for the 2016-17 fiscal year.

“School districts are feeling the impact of a historically low tax levy limit,” said DiNapoli. “Although district administrators and school boards have been reluctant to exceed the tax cap, this year’s limit seems to have left some districts with limited options. As school budget planning continues over the next few weeks, we may see additional districts deciding to seek voter approval for an override.”

The tax cap, which first applied to local governments beginning in 2012, limits tax levy increases to the lesser of the rate of inflation or 2 percent with certain exceptions, including a provision that allows school districts to override the cap with 60 percent voter approval of their budget.