Majority of Schools Will Abide By Property-Tax Cap

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Nearly 92 percent of school districts plan to abide by the state’s new property-tax cap.

Just 51 of the 669 school districts that filed their proposed tax-levy increases with the state Education Department plan to ask voters to override the tax limit. School-budget votes across the state will take place on May 15.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers last year adopted a tax cap that limits the growth in property taxes to 2 percent a year. But some costs were exempted – such as burgeoning pension costs – that gave districts on average a 3 percent tax-cap limit.

Yet districts are largely proposing budgets that come in under their capped limits. The average proposed tax levy increase is 2.2 percent, state Education Department records showed.

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, R-Nassau County, hailed the findings, saying the cap “finally slams the door on massive tax increases that middle-class families could not afford.”

The records show that 445 districts are proposing tax levy increases – the amount of taxes collected in a community – that are under their capped limit. Additionally, 173 districts are coming in right at their capped amount.

In fact, 12 school districts are proposing budgets that are $1 less than their capped limits.

“I was just making sure I didn’t go over,” said Dennis Kane, superintendent of Cheektowaga Central Schools in Erie County, which had a cap $1 under its limit.

Here’s the totals by district.

2012-13 School Tax Levies

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