The results of last week’s school budget votes show that the real property tax cap has the public’s support and can work in limiting tax increases.
In 2011, Gov. Cuomo and the Legislature enacted a real property tax levy cap that requires a 60 percent super-majority vote as a deterrent to schools proposing significant tax increases in a state that has some of the highest taxes in the nation. Last week’s school budget vote was the first under the tax cap.
The vast majority of school districts throughout the state that stayed within the property tax levy cap were approved this week, while those that pierced the cap were rejected at a far higher rate.
Some 96 percent of school budgets were approved Tuesday in the first year of the state’s property tax levy cap; just 24 budgets were rejected. Of those rejected, 19 were in districts that sought to override the cap.
The schools that sought an override and failed are now left to decide whether to again seek an override or to lower their budgets to fall in line with their tax cap amount. Under the tax cap, if a budget fails twice, they cannot raise taxes at all in the coming school year, which starts July 1. The next budget vote is June 19.