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News stories tagged with "tax-cap"

Farmer John Peck, of Peck Homestead Farm in Champion, in Jefferson County, is worried about how steadily rising property taxes are affecting his livelihood. Photo: Joanna Richards
Farmer John Peck, of Peck Homestead Farm in Champion, in Jefferson County, is worried about how steadily rising property taxes are affecting his livelihood. Photo: Joanna Richards

Could the two percent ag land tax cap hurt non-farmers?

New York farmers are closely watching the fate of a bill in Albany that would cap assessments of their land at a two percent increase per year. That's compared to the current 10 percent per year.

Agricultural land is assessed according to the crops growing on it. And corn and soybean prices have been soaring. But lots of farmers might not see profits from those high prices, and many say they're paying a lot more in taxes, without taking in a lot more money.  Go to full article
Voter, 2012. Photo: Julie Grant
Voter, 2012. Photo: Julie Grant

Most School Budgets Expected to Pass

Voters in New York go to the polls on Tuesday, May 21 to approve new school budgets. The State School Boards Association finds that many school districts are living within the limits imposed by a property tax cap enacted two years ago.

The School Board Association's Tim Kremer says a survey of the state's school districts finds that the vast majority are budgeting within the strictures of the tax cap, and as a result, 93 percent expect their budgets to be approved by voters.  Go to full article
NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi speaks to reporters in Albany about the case. Photo: El-Wise Noisette via NYSUT.org
NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi speaks to reporters in Albany about the case. Photo: El-Wise Noisette via NYSUT.org

Why a NYS teachers' union is suing the state

The state's largest teachers union has filed a lawsuit against the state's property tax cap, arguing it's unconstitutional.

New York State United Teachers President Dick Iannuzzi says the cap, passed by Cuomo and the legislature in 2011, arbitrarily limits property tax increase to two percent, regardless of whether a school district is rich or poor. The lawsuit also charges that the tax cap violates the principle of one person one vote, because a supermajority of 60 percent of voters is required to override the cap.  Go to full article
1000 high school students will gather at the New York State Museum today. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jasonparis/">JasonParis</a>, CC <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en">some rights reserved</a>
1000 high school students will gather at the New York State Museum today. Photo: JasonParis, CC some rights reserved

Canton/ Potsdam students headed to protest in Albany

About 1,000 high school students and teachers from around New York are traveling to Albany Wednesday to lobby lawmakers to increase spending on schools. A busload of 30 students from Canton and Potsdam will be among them.

When leaders in the Canton Central schools worry publicly about losing sports, arts, pre-kindergarten, and other programs because they're going broke, they're not alone. A recent survey of New York school superintendents found that a quarter of districts in the North Country think they'll be insolvent in two years if things don't change.

Chad Raddock is organizing concerned districts under the group Educate New York-Now. He says 15 busloads of students and teachers are on their way to Albany.  Go to full article

Struggling counties urge relief of state mandates

New York's counties are making a push to get Governor Cuomo and state lawmakers to take their growing fiscal crises seriously. They say they need relief from some state mandates that they say are bringing some counties to the brink of bankruptcy.  Go to full article
Image: digital-topo-maps.com
Image: digital-topo-maps.com

Counties "govern by triage," seek mandate relief

The North Country is seeing some tough times in county government, with Essex County facing a $13 million shortfall, and St. Lawrence County projecting a 20 percent property tax increase.

New York State Association of Counties Executive Director Stephen Acquario says counties are caught between a rock and a hard place. On one hand, counties have to pay for dozens of mandated services, from Medicaid to child welfare, which cost more every year. On the other hand, they now have to keep tax increases within a property tax cap.

Acquario told David Sommerstein the situation leaves counties essentially "governing by triage".  Go to full article
St. Lawrence County Legislator Fred Morrill.
St. Lawrence County Legislator Fred Morrill.

St. Lawrence County legislator proposes steep cuts

Budget leaders in St. Lawrence County are considering some steep cuts to prevent a 20 percent property tax increase. The tax hike proposed by county administrator Karen St. Hilaire last week would raise $9.3 million.

Democratic legislator Fred Morrill of DeKalb Junction wants to cut $7 million from that plan. He's chair of the finance committee, and is offering an alternate budget. Among other things, it eliminates the Sheriff's Road Patrol, and cuts the highway department.

Morrill says things like police protection and maintaining bridges are not necessarily the county's responsibility.  Go to full article
But voters said "No" to Plattsburgh's tax cap-exceeding plan. Photo: plattscsd.org
But voters said "No" to Plattsburgh's tax cap-exceeding plan. Photo: plattscsd.org

Voters say yes to most school budgets

It was school budget day in New York State yesterday. Voters from one side of the state to the other had their say on their local district's spending plan for the coming year.

It was a tough year for the schools, with a continuing loss of state education aid, and a new state-imposed limit on property taxes used to fund many of the programs and positions local communities value.

The vast majority of budgets passed in the North Country; most including significant cuts in teachers and programs. Martha Foley talked with Brian Mann for a survey of the regional results.  Go to full article
The legislature and the governor have got to get together and come up with an overall plan, and quickly.

Funding expert: NY schools on "sliding slope" toward fiscal insolvency

Voters across New York state will decide Tuesday whether or not to approve their local school district budgets, and the property tax levies needed to pay for them. School budgets are complicated, to say the least, and they're even more complicated this year because the new 2% property tax increase cap is putting additional limits on what school boards can ask for. Many schools have had to make serious cuts in the last couple years--and are now looking at more.

We heard last week on how one rural school district is trying to balance its financial needs with money coming from local taxes and the state. For a wider view, WRVO's Catherine Loper spoke with Rick Timbs, executive director of the Statewide School Finance Consortium. They spoke about the effect this year's budget cycle will have on schools and the future of education funding in New York--and about new questions raised by the tax cap:  Go to full article
Patricia Downs displays her prize-winning dress made out of gum wrappers
Patricia Downs displays her prize-winning dress made out of gum wrappers

Plattsburgh school district exceeds tax cap, asks for taxpayer support

Schools around the North Country are trying figure out how to provide quality education in the midst of a historic budget squeeze. In Plattsburgh, school officials are asking taxpayers to do more to keep enrichment and arts programs alive. Sarah Harris has that story.  Go to full article

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