Comptroller cites need for fiscal prudence in local budgeting
Property tax levy growth for school districts will be capped at 1.23%, down from 1.81% last year, according to data released today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.
“School district and municipal officials must remain fiscally cautious to stay under the cap as they prepare their budgets,” DiNapoli said. “The financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with a levy growth rate of 1.23% and below 2% for the second year in a row, means they must examine their budgets more closely to control expenses.”
The 1.23% cap affects the tax cap calculations for 676 school districts and 10 cities with fiscal years starting July 1, 2021, including the “Big Four” cities of Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers.
The tax cap, which first applied to local governments and school districts in 2012, limits annual tax levy increases to the lesser of the rate of inflation or 2% with certain exceptions, including a provision that allows school districts to override the cap with 60% voter approval of their budget.
The Office of the State Comptroller has created a financial toolkit containing many resources that can be useful to local officials in the wake of the pandemic.
•List of allowable tax levy growth factors for all local governments