Local tax cap may dip in ’15 by Tim Hoefer | | NY Torch

The property tax cap for New York counties, towns and villages with fiscal years starting January 1, 2015 will start at 1.56 percent, slightly lower than last year's starting rate of 1.66 percent. The cap in each locality will vary based on the amount of applicable allowable exclusions for growth in local property values. Localities also will be able to exclude the amount by which the change in pension contributions exceeds two percentage points

The cap-buster count, 2014 edition by Tim Hoefer | | NY Torch

Twenty-four school districts sought to override the state’s property tax levy cap in yesterday’s school budget votes. Nine districts, or 38 percent of those attempting, failed to garner the 60 percent supermajority vote needed to pass an override.

The vast majority of school districts held their proposed tax levies below the statewide average of about 2.1 percent, including allowances for voter-approved capital spending, property taxes generated by new construction, and other factors. On a per-pupil basis, as detailed in the Empire Center’s annual School Budget Spotlight, the average proposed tax levy hike came to 2.6 percent. Spending growth in proposed budgets was 3.2 percent per pupil, one and a half times the inflation rate.

Cuomo flipping the “circuit breaker” by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

Over the past few days, Governor Cuomo has made it clearer than ever that his “tax cut” focus next year will be on something that can be more accurately described as a tax shift: the creation of a new property tax “circuit breaker” credit that homeowners could claim on their state income taxes. The credit would rebate a portion of local property taxes, to the extent that they exceed some set percentage of each homeowner’s income.

The cap-buster count, 2013 edition | NY Torch

Twenty-seven* school districts were seeking to override the state's property tax cap in yesterday's school budget votes. Twenty of these districts -- or 74 percent -- failed to collect the needed 60 percent supermajority to pass, according to news accounts. The closest result was in the Cornwall School District in Orange County, which fell two votes short of an override supermajority.

Pension loophole boosts tax cap for schools by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

Opponents of Governor Cuomo’s 2 percent property tax cap were able to stick one major exclusion into the legislation before it passed in 2011: a provision excluding a portion of local government and school employee pensions from the total allowable “levy limit” in years when taxpayer-funded employer contributions rise by more than two percentage points of salaries.

Teachers sue to throw out cap by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

To no one’s surprise, the statewide teachers’ union today filed suit to overturn New York’s local property tax cap. NYSUT has enlisted some parents of school children as co-plaintiffs, but the chief motive here is obvious: the tax cap is likely to limit future increases in teacher compensation, which is by far the largest category of local school expenditures.