Benchmarking New York | Reports

New York State residents pay some of the highest local taxes in the nation. To help New Yorkers compare some of the basic fiscal measures for local governments, the Empire Center for Public Policy has calculated effective property tax rates and per-capita values for the spending, debt and tax levels of counties, cities, town and villages throughout the state, excluding only New York City.

NY’s latest tax gimmick by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

The second of two Election Eve check-in-the-mailbox tax credit gimmicks concocted by state officials in Albany is unfolding this week.

Most New York State homeowners outside New York City have received or are about to receive a payment equivalent to roughly 2 percent of their 2014-15 school property taxes—which will average roughly $60 upstate to $150 in downstate suburbs. This is on top of the $350 tax credit sent recently to families that had at least one child under 17 as of 2012.

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.