NY school property tax cap to be at lowest since 2012

The state's school property tax cap will be the lowest since the cap was put in place in 2012. According to the New York Comptroller's

According to the New York Comptroller's Office, growth in school property taxes will be capped at 0.12 percent.

According to the New York Comptroller's Office, growth in school property taxes will be capped at 0.12 percent. (1/20/16)

PORT JEFFERSON STATION - The state's school property tax cap will be the lowest since the cap was put in place in 2012.

According to the New York Comptroller's Office, growth in school property taxes will be capped at 0.12 percent.

"The tax cap is working for homeowners, but the schools haven't really learned what the purpose of the cap is. The purpose of the cap is for them to start containing their expenses," says Long Island school tax activist Fred Gorman.

In the Comsewogue School District, the superintendent says the new numbers means the schools will have to do more with less.

Superintendent Dr. Joseph Rella says the problem isn't only the tax cap. He says it's the number of so-called unfunded mandates -- things school districts are required to provide but that the state doesn't pay for. Plus, state aid reductions from previous years still haven't been reinstated.

"I'm meeting with all of the principals next week individually to talk about what we can do without next year because it's not business as usual," says Rella.

For parents and taxpayers, the balancing act between programs and property taxes can get a little sticky.

"It's like a double-edged sword," says Michelle Kwiecinski, of Port Jefferson Station. "You want to get your kids the best education they can get, but then if you raise the taxes, it makes it hard for us younger people to stay on Long Island."

The cap limits apply to 124 districts on Long Island. Under state law, districts can exceed the cap, but only by winning over a 60 percent or higher "supermajority" of local voters.

 

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