What Does This Year's Tax Cap Mean for Schools

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ALBANY, NY (02/03/2016)(readMedia)-- The New York State Association of School Business Officials(NYSASBO) released a brief report today that analyzed the impact of the .12% or 12/100 hundreths of a percent tax cap on school districts based on their Need Resource Capacity (low, average and high need districts) as well as by region of the state.

The Research Note also compared how much could be raised by the 0.12% tax cap versus a flat 2% tax cap and quantifies the amount of local revenue lost under the current cap. Statewide school districts could raise an additional $25 million under the .12% tax cap, but under a true 2% cap that amount would be $415 million.

"State policymakers need to recognize that our costs are rising more than 0.12%, like health care, pensions and special education, and school districts cannot cover these added costs without a significant increase in state aid," stated Michael J. Borges, NYSASBO Executive Director.

The Research Note also points out that high need districts would only be able to raise an additional $10 per student under the 0.12% tax cap, while low need districts could raise an additional $27 per pupil. "This further demonstrates that students in high need districts continue to be at disadvantage that is only exacerbated by this ridiculously low tax cap," continued Mr. Borges.

NYSASBO also continues to urge the Governor and Department of Tax and Finance to implement two technical changes to the tax cap that were agreed to at the end of the 2015 Legislative Session, but have yet to be implemented. "The Legislature approved changes to the tax cap that made it more fair by excluding a school district's share of a BOCES capital project from their tax cap and including PILOT (or tax exempt) properties in the calculation of their allowable levy limit, and so far the State has failed to implement these minor but helpful changes,"concluded Mr. Borges.