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
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.
“Why are property taxes so high? Because we have 10,500 local governments,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said yesterday, repeating (yet again) his favorite mantra. Cuomo clearly wants to imply that he’s referring to 10,500 autonomous entities, falling over one another in a virtual orgy of bureaucratic excess.
Based on inflation trends through the first 11 months of 2013, it looks like the starting point for property tax levy caps affecting 2014-15 school budgets across New York will be lower than 2 percent.
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.
Reflecting the drop in overall inflation over the past year, the state-imposed cap on property taxes will be 1.66 percent for counties, cities, towns and villages with fiscal years that start Jan. 1, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office has informed local officials.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has pulled the teeth out of his original proposal to reform the binding arbitration law for police and fire contract disputes, squandering an opportunity to deliver on a key mandate relief priority for many municipalities.
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.
In the second year of New York State’s property tax cap, proposed school district budgets will be subject to an average tax levy limit of 4.6 percent—more than double the statutory base cap of 2 percent and well above the 3 percent average limit for school budget proposals last year, according to data from the state comptroller’s office.
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.
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.
Just two school districts -- out of nearly 700 in New York -- will be limited to the new zero-tax hike contingency budget provision of the state's new property tax cap law next year.