LI budgets feature smallest tax hikes in years

School budgets across Long Island feature some of the smallest tax increases in years.



School tax increases are expected to be the smallest in nearly 20 years. The average proposed school district tax hike on Long Island is 1.7 percent.



A big reason is the record amount of state aid schools across Nassau and Suffolk are receiving this year. That's vital because the more money districts get from Albany, the less they have to get from homeowners.



School districts also saved money this year because of a dip in the contribution they had to make to the state's pension system. Unlike past years, districts did not have to resort to layoffs or program cuts to keep taxes down.



Some credit the state's 2 percent tax cap for keeping school spending in check. Roslyn school administrator Joe Dragone says it's more about districts trying to propose budgets they know residents will pass.



"I think school boards were already under pressure from their own communities to reduce tax levies," says Dragone.



School budget votes on Long Island are scheduled for May 19.


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