School Budget Revotes:Tax Cap Impact Felt

ALBANY, NY (06/17/2015)(readMedia)-- Yesterday, June 16th, voters in nine districts went back to the polls to vote on budgets that were defeated on the first attempt on May 19th. Seven out of the nine passed, bringing the total number of budgets approved to 668 or 99.7 percent. The two defeated budgets must now operate on a contingency budget, which means their levy is limited to the same amount as last year.

Of the nine school districts that had budget revotes, seven originally attempted to override the tax cap, whereas the other two did not. At this revote, three out of the nine stayed under the tax cap: Addison Central, Walton Central, and Herkimer Central. Originally, Herkimer attempted to override the tax cap, but since modified the budget to stay under it.

The two defeated budgets were Northeastern Clinton Central and Parishville-Hopkinton Central. Both of them easily achieved a simple majority, but failed to obtain the supermajority of 60 percent or greater approval to override their tax caps. Parishville-Hopkinton was just two yes votes shy of passing.

"The tax cap formula contributed to both Northeastern Clinton and Parishville-Hopkinton overriding. The formula produced a negative allowable levy limit, which limited the districts to levying less money than the previous year. With the contingency budget, both can now levy more than would have been possible if the districts stayed within this year's tax cap, "stated Michael J. Borges, NYSASBO Executive Director.

This year there were 33 districts that had a negative tax cap levy limit according to property tax report card data (last year there was 24). Of these, 21 districts stayed within the tax cap for this year and the remaining 12 attempted an override.

"NYSASBO has recommended along with other education groups technical changes to the tax cap to prevent these punitive anomalies in the tax cap calculations. We urge the Legislature not to rubber stamp the renewal of the tax cap without revisiting some of the flaws on how the law is implemented," said Mr. Borges.

The recommendations can be found here: