Nineteen school districts that attempted to override the tax cap in last month’s school budget votes will present revised budgets to voters tomorrow. Nine of those districts are resubmitting budgets below the cap, seven have budgets at the cap and three districts will try again to override the cap.

Under the new tax cap law, the tax levy increase will be capped at zero for districts that fail to pass a budget on the second try. The table shows each district along with cap limit and proposed increase.

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For the Stillwater Central School District in Saratoga County, unlike the other districts on the list, tomorrow’s voting isn’t really much of a gamble. That’s because Stillwater’s tax levy limit was zero to begin with (the legal minimum), because the district will also be collecting a $600,000 Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) from the new Global Foundries chip fab plant, which falls partly within district boundaries.

The Highland Central School District is looking to pierce a 0.87% cap, which Superintendent Deborah Haab says is exceptionally low due to a state aid payment from an old capital project.

Meanwhile, in Long Island’s Elmont Union Free School District, the board had proposed a budget that is 2.5 times the cap limit.

Urging a “yes” vote, Elmont Superintendent Al Harper says the proposed budget would boost taxes by only 44 cents a day for the average homeowner — which is a creative way to try to minimize the more relevant figure of $160 a year.

About the Author

Tim Hoefer

Tim Hoefer is president & CEO of the Empire Center for Public Policy.

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