As the state legislative session comes to a close, we often focus on the things the Legislature should be doing.
Her tax plan is “completely unrealistic and excessive,” Mr. McMahon said, adding that it is “based on the assumption that businesses and individuals alike are simply oblivious to higher tax rates.”
A combination of decades of free-wheeling generosity by local school boards, pressure to increase teacher pay from politically powerful unions, and state laws and policies that make it impossible for districts to rein in spending has gotten New York to the point where it spends more per student and offers the highest teacher salaries of any other state in the country.
Molinaro’s rhetoric made it all sound obvious — and easy. In fact, New York faces real financial constraints that’ll limit options for whoever occupies the governor’s office starting next January.
Among New York school districts with enrollments of 4,000 or more, the list of highest property taxes per pupil is what you’d expect — topped by Great Neck, Scarsdale, Syosset and Bedford.
In fifth place is a somewhat less wealthy outlier: the Northport-East Northport district. It will raise $28,556 per pupil in property taxes next year, based on data from the state’s 2018-19 Property Tax Report Card. That’s 57 percent above the Suffolk County average.
On Monday, as Empire Center fiscal expert E.J. McMahon noted, Census numbers pegged New York’s 2016 per-student outlays at $22,366, or nearly twice the $11,762-per-student national average. And the gap, McMahon adds, has only been growing.
"I think the tax cap has induced a sense of complacency," said E.J. McMahon, founder of the Empire Center, a fiscally conservative think tank in Albany. "It’s seen as automatically keeping a fairly tight lid on the levy. But at the first sign of fiscal stress and added pressure for higher taxes, I'd expect turnout to rebound."
New York doled out $22,366 for each elementary and secondary schoolkid — 90 percent higher than the national average of $11,762, according to Empire Center research director E.J. McMahon.