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.
Long Island town officials are crying the blues over the budgetary squeeze supposedly created by the state’s property-tax cap. They’re not alone: You’ll hear much the same from town pols elsewhere in the metro region and across New York state.
But the thrust of their complaints — that the tax cap is somehow blocking urgent public projects and programs — just won’t hold water.
Before area taxpayers and their counterparts statewide get too excited over the looming lower property tax hike for next year, they need to be mindful of the other side of the coin.
The starting point for computing next year's local property tax cap in most of New York State will be less than 1 percent—and so state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is warning local governments "brace for ... [lower] growth in property tax revenues."
DiNapoli's tone clearly implies that a lower tax cap is a negative. But most property owners will no doubt see it another way.
Based on initial descriptions, the delayed end-of-session "big ugly" package deal announced Tuesday afternoon by Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders is simply confounding on the subject of property taxes.
Although Cuomo and Senate Republicans both said they wanted to make the state's 2 percent property tax cap permanent, the cap apparently will be extended only temporarily.
The Empire Center argues that the tax cap as it is written now is working and should be made permanent. E.J. McMahon, the president and founder of the Empire Center, makes the case for the cap. McMahon will also discuss new data on firefighter pensions.
In 2010, the median property tax paid in Monroe County was $4,035 — almost twice as much the national median of $2,043. In fact, Monroe County real estate taxes as a percentage of home value ranked second highest in the nation out of 806 counties. The same is true across the region. The median property tax paid in Livingston and Ontario counties each exceeded $3,000.