JERICHO - Next Tuesday, residents in all 124 school districts across Long Island will vote on their proposed budgets for the next year.
In part one of our series School Vote 2014, News 12 Long Island’s Doug Geed takes a close look at the property tax cap, how it impacts those budgets and affects your tax bill.
The state’s tax cap requires school districts and municipalities to propose budgets that won't raise taxes above a certain level. If they do, a vote of 60 percent is needed to approve the budgets.
Most people refer to it as the 2-percent tax cap, but the law actually limits tax hikes to either 2-percent, or the rate of inflation, whatever's lower.
This year, the rate is 1.46 percent, which is the tax cap districts need to stay under. However, certain expenses school districts face are exempt from the cap.
Under Gov. Andrew Cuomo's tax-freeze plan, as long as your school district stays within the tax cap, they will get a rebate equal to the amount school taxes go up.
The plan is good news for homeowners in eight Long Island school districts, Central Islip, Island Trees, Jericho, Mt. Sinai, Patchogue-Medford, Quogue, Valley Stream District 30 and Westhampton Beach. Not only will there be no tax hikes there, but homeowners will also get a rebate.
Island-wide, the average proposed school tax increase this year is 2.27 percent, the second lowest since 1996.
For an extended interview with Center Moriches School Superintendent Russell J. Stewart, watch the clip to the left or go to News 12 Extra on Optimum TV channel 612.