Average school district tax levy increase is just 1.48 percent, well below "2 percent" tax cap

Only 12 school districts to seek tax cap override on May 16

FOR RELEASE: May 3, 2017

CONTACT: David Albert
(518) 783-3716 or (518) 320-2221 cell


The average proposed school district tax levy increase in 2017-18 will be 1.48 percent, more than half a percentage point below the acclaimed "2 percent" property tax cap, according to a NYSSBA analysis of school district property tax and budget data from the State Education Department. 

This will be the fourth consecutive year the tax cap growth factor will be below 2 percent. 

In addition, far fewer school districts will try for tax levy overrides this year than last year. A total of 12 districts will attempt to get 60 percent voter approval when they put their budgets to a vote on May 16 because their property tax levy increases exceed their allowable tax levy limits, compared with 36 districts a year ago. 

Historically, the passage rate for districts needing a supermajority has been dramatically lower than those needing a simple majority. Since 2012, the first year the tax cap was in effect, 58 percent of budgets that sought overrides were approved. By comparison, budgets needing a simple majority passed about 99 percent of the time. 

Twenty-five districts reported negative tax caps, meaning they need to decrease their tax levies from last year to remain within their tax caps. Last year, a record 95 districts had negative tax caps. 

"A combination of a higher tax cap growth factor – 1.26 percent this year compared with 0.12 percent last year – and a $1 billion increase in state aid has enabled the vast majority of districts to put up budgets that require only simple majority approval," said NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer. 

The total average spending increase for school districts statewide (excluding the Big 5) is 2.15 percent.



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