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NEWS from the Office of the New York State Comptroller
Contact: Press Office 518-474-4015

DiNapoli: Under New Tax Cap Calculation, School District Tax Levy Growth Near Zero

January 20, 2016

Property tax levy growth for school districts will be capped at 0.12 percent above current levels for the 2016-17 fiscal year, according to data released today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. The latest calculation affects the tax cap calculations for 677 school districts as well as 10 cities, including the “Big Four” cities of Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers.

“The nearly zero growth in the tax cap will limit budget options for school and municipal officials as they plan for next year,” said DiNapoli. “Although some local governments can rely on available reserve funds to bridge the gap, others may need to take a hard look at operations to find ways to cut costs to stay under the cap.”

The tax cap, which first applied to local governments beginning in 2012, limits tax levy increases to the lesser of the rate of inflation or 2 percent with certain exceptions, including a provision that allows school districts to override the cap with 60 percent voter approval of their budget.

For 2016-17, DiNapoli estimates the state’s school districts (excluding New York City and the Big Four city school districts) will have about $308 million less in levy growth compared to what they had in 2015-16 when the allowable growth factor was 1.62 percent.

Similarly, the 10 cities in New York with fiscal years ending June 30, will have about $14 million less in allowable levy growth in 2016-17 than during the current fiscal year.

For the list of allowable tax levy growth factors for all local governments, visit:

For access to state and local government spending, public authority financial data and information on 50,000 state contracts, visit Open Book New York. The easy-to-use website was created by DiNapoli to promote openness in government and provide taxpayers with better access to the financial workings of government.