School Budget Vote Turnout Declines Precipitously Since Tax Cap Imposed

ALBANY, NY (07/12/2013)(readMedia)-- The New York State Association of School Business Officials (NYSASBO) has released a report that analyzes school budget votes to determine any trends or factors in voting results.

The report examines historical budget vote trends over the past ten years and highlights that over that ten year period the average budget adoption rate was 91.8% with the most recent budget adoption rate for 2013-14 school budgets at 95.3%. The imposition of the tax cap in 2012 for school levies had no significant impact on budget adoption rates.

The report also examined whether there was any correlation between budget adoptions and the wealth of the district as determined by the State Education Department's Need/Resource Capacity Index, which is used to determine State Aid. The report found no correlation between the wealth of the district and whether a budget was adopted or defeated. High Need Districts which receive a greater percentage of their budgets from State Aid had the lowest budget defeat rates.

Voter turnout for the 2013-14 school budget votes was the lowest in seven years and since the imposition of the tax cap in 2012, voter turnout has fallen almost 20%. The exception to this declining trend in voter turnout, are in school districts that seek to override their tax cap. School districts that sought levies that required a 60% plurality saw a 73% jump in their turnout from 2012 to 2013.

The tax cap also had an impact on the budget adoption rates of those districts that sought to exceed their levy limits. Only 7 or 25% out of 28 school districts that attempted an override were successful this year, compared to 34 out of 53 or 64.2% of school districts last year that were successful in their override attempts. In the past two years, only 81 or less than 6% of school districts have attempted to exceed their tax levy limits.

A copy of the report can be found at