Schools are seeking an average 3.4 percent increase in the property-tax levy in the 2011-12 school year, which starts July 1, data released today by the state Department of Education shows.
The tax hikes come even as schools are keeping their spending increases at an average of just 1.25 percent, the data shows. Also, school enrollment is flat, going up just .7 percent.
Residents will go to the polls May 17 to vote on their school budgets.
“I think districts did the best they could to control spending,” said Robert Lowry, deputy director of the state Council of School Superintendents.
Lowry said this year’s numbers are comparable to last year, when schools asked voters to approve tax levy increases of about 3.2 percent.
Schools are grappling this year with a reduction of about $1.5 billion in state aid, causing districts to increase property taxes even as they limit spending on the local level, school officials said.
Moreover, districts face the prospect of a property-tax cap next year that would limit the growth in property taxes to 2 percent a year. It’s a proposal being sought by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.