"This is nothing but good news for taxpayers. The cap is based on the sensible notion that the price of government shouldn't rise any faster than prices in general," E.J. McMahon, president of the Empire Center said in an email.
After another year of low inflation, most local governments will again base their tax caps on a growth factor of less than one percent.
The school-budget votes this year included more property-tax-cap overrides and a drop in voter turnout, a report from a school group showed.
With just three work days remaining in the legislative session, a number of bills that would loosen the property-tax cap await consideration in both houses. The pending legislative efforts range from small modifications to the cap formula to allow more spending without triggering the cap’s supermajority requirement, to doing away with the supermajority requirement altogether.
Twenty-nine of the 37 districts that sought to override the property tax cap were successful in yesterday’s school budget votes, as the majority of districts elected to limit their tax increases to the cap itself.
“STAR was the first in a line of many gimmicks to address high property taxes without addressing the reasons for the high property taxes,” said Ken Girardin, spokesman for the Empire Center for Public Policy, a fiscally conservative think tank in Albany. “The (tax relief) checks are a calculated effort to distract from the hard choices the state Legislature won’t make.”
Fueled by an increase in state aid and higher property taxes, the 669 school districts subject to New York’s property tax levy cap plan to spend 2.8 percent more per student in 2016-17 than they did this year, according to an analysis released today by the Empire Center for Public Policy. Per-pupil tax levies, meanwhile, would increase by an average of 1.3 percent.
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has officially confirmed what federal inflation statistics were already telegraphing: New York's statutory cap on local school property tax levies will be just a hair above zero for 2016-17 school year budgets, which will be submitted for voter approval in May.