More Tax Cap Overrides Expected for 2016-17

76 School Districts Experience Negative Tax Caps

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ALBANY, NY (03/07/2016)(readMedia)-- The New York State Association of School Business Officials (NYSASBO) released an analysis of tax cap data submitted by school districts to the State Comptroller on March 1st.

The 601 school districts that submitted their tax cap data propose an average increase of 0.9 percent in their tax levy. Tax cap changes reported by individual school districts ranged from -7.7 percent to 24.6 percent. The analysis has a breakdown by regions that shows the lowest regional increase of 0.7 percent on Long Island and the highest regional increase of 1.3 percent in the Central region.

The report also highlights the difference in proposed tax levy increases by Need Resource Capacity category that shows low need (high wealth) school districts with an average 0.7 percent increase, average need school districts with an average 1.0 percent increase, and high need (low wealth) school districts with a 0.9 percent increase.

The tax cap data reveals 36 districts are proposing to override the tax cap this year, the highest number of overrides since the first year of the tax cap in 2012, when 52 districts proposed an override.

Another troubling trend is the significant increase in the number of negative tax levies imposed by the tax cap. Seventy-six (76) districts have calculated they will have negative tax levies for the coming year, meaning the district is restricted to raising less funds locally than the year before unless they seek an override.

"This year dramatically demonstrates fundamental flaws in the tax cap. A tax cap that is tied to an inflationary number that does not reflect school district costs and which results in negative levies should raise concerns with both state policymakers and the general public that want a quality education for our students", stated Michael J. Borges, NYSASBO Executive Director.