School Districts Propose Statewide Tax Increase of 2.5 Percent
NYSASBO analyzed required school district filings to the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) regarding 2018-19 tax cap calculations and proposed taxes. Of the districts that submitted information, 99 percent indicated they will submit budgets that comply with their respective tax caps.
The Tax Cap for school districts for the 2018-19 school year is two percent. With permissible exclusions, the statewide tax cap is 2.9 percent, with school districts proposing an increase of 2.5 percent.
While it’s still early in the process, nine districts propose to override the tax cap. This would be the fewest number of overrides since the inception of the tax cap in 2012. For the 2017-18 school year, 13 districts submitted budgets at the May vote that sought to override the tax cap.
Fifteen school districts have negative tax caps, in which their maximum allowable levy limit is lower than their previous year’s levy. Many factors can lead to negative tax caps, including changes in capital exclusions, local property base, or payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTS).
“Although school districts have a higher cap this year than last, higher health and pension costs, coupled with economic instability due to federal policy changes, create an uncertain fiscal picture for school districts,” said Executive Director Michael J. Borges. “Stable, adequate and equitable state funding is more important than ever,“ he concluded.