Tax Levy Limit Information

Tax Levy Limit Information

At the end of June 2011, the New York State Legislature enacted a property tax “cap” that seeks to limit the annual increase in the tax levies of local governments and school districts. The new legislation affected district planning starting with the 2012-13 school budget.

Although the new law has been referred to as a “2 percent tax cap,” it does not, in fact, restrict any proposed tax levy increase to 2 percent. What it does is establish a tax levy limit (which will be determined by each district according to an eight-step, complex formula dictated by the law, and will vary by district) that determines the number of votes needed to pass a school budget.

Find out more about this legislation by reading the articles below.

New York State property tax legislation overview

Read a summary of the new legislation and the impact expected by district leaders. for more info

Why it’s NOT a “2 percent tax cap”

Although the new law has been referred to as a “2 percent tax cap,” it does not restrict any proposed tax levy increase to 2 percent, nor does it prohibit individuals’ property taxes from increasing more than 2 percent. for more info

The three tax levy numbers

During the school budget development process, taxpayers will hear three sets of numbers: the tax levy limit, the maximum allowable levy, and the proposed tax levy.

The tax levy limit is the number calculated by a state-dictated formula that takes into account inflation (2 percent or the current Consumer Price Index, whichever is less), any PILOT payments (payments in lieu of taxes) a district receives, and prior year exemptions.

The maximum allowable levy is the tax levy limit plus the state-approved exemptions for the coming school year under the law, such as capital local expenditures, certain pension payments, and certain court orders/judgments.

The proposed tax levy is the amount of money the school needs to raise in taxes to fund its proposed budget. Schools get funding from two major sources: state aid and property taxes. On the third Tuesday of May each year, residents vote on the proposed school district budget in their communities — meaning, voters decide on the overall district spending plan, not on the specific tax levy figure. for more info.

A look at the exemptions under the law

It is possible for a district to propose a school budget that carries a tax levy that is above the limit and still only need a simple majority for it to pass. This is because the new law allows certain exemptions to be excluded from the tax levy limit. for more info

Mandate relief measures and the tax “cap”

The tax “cap” legislation was approved with a package of changes intended to control school districts and local governments spending. These included the creation of a Mandate Relief Council to curb some of the laws and regulations that lead to escalating expenses for school districts and local government. for more info

Understanding New York's property tax levy cap as it relates to public schools

Read the informational brochure produced by Capital Region BOCES and Questar III. A PDF version can be downloaded here.

Property Tax Levy Limit Q&A

Find out the answers to some common questions about the new property tax legislation. for more info

10 fast facts about the tax levy limit

Like many laws, the details of the tax levy limit legislation can be complicated and sometimes difficult to understand. Here are 10 fast facts to help you understand the new law. for more info

Calculating the Tax Levy Limit

View the formula and definitions districts will be using to calculate the tax levy limit. for more info

Calculating Plainedge's Tax levy limit

View the following formula that demonstrates how Plainedge calculates its 2013-14 “tax levy limit,” as well as the “maximum allowable levy" under the new state regulations. for more info

Tax Levy Tuesdays

Weekly headlines from the blog Education Speaks: Moving the conversation forward. Education Speaks is sponsored by Capital Region BOCES, in collaboration with Questar III BOCES, HFM BOCES, WSWHE BOCES, Herkimer BOCES and the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership. for more info


New York State Property Tax Cap - A Citizens' Guide