Comsewogue S.D. pierces property tax cap

Long Island taxpayers will soon be voting on school budgets which, for the first time, are supposed to be within the state's new 2 percent

PORT JEFFERSON STATION - Long Island taxpayers will soon be voting on school budgets which, for the first time, are supposed to be within the state's new 2 percent property tax cap. But some districts, like Comsewogue, are deliberately piercing the cap because they say it's needed for a balanced budget. It's a risky move, requiring "yes" votes from 60 percent of voters. Superintendent Dr. Joseph Rella says that if voters approve the budget, there will be a tax increase of about $300 per homeowner. If not, he says the school will have to make cuts, possibly leading to bigger class sizes, teacher layoffs and fewer electives and extracurricular activities. Taxpayer advocate Andrea Vecchio says the threat of big cuts is what gets some parents riled up.Still, others say having kids who are well-educated is worth the money.

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