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Property tax increases at the school district level will be capped at a 2% increase this year as inflation has increased over the last year, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli announced Wednesday.
The move will affect 676 school districts and 10 cities with fiscal years that began July 1 — including Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers.
The cap limits the amount a municipality or district can raise its property tax levy and first took effect a decade ago in order to limit increases in the highest property taxes in the country. The amount the cap is raised or lowered is largely tied to inflation.
DiNapoli’s office found the inflation factor stood at 4.7% for taxing districts that have a June 30 end to the fiscal year. It’s the first time the cap has been set at 2% since 2019 after a decade of largely flat inflation.
“School district and municipal officials must remain fiscally cautious to stay under the cap as they prepare their budgets,” DiNapoli said. “Even with significant funding from the state and federal governments, school and local communities are faced with the rapid increase in inflation, pandemic surge, and trying to retain and recruit employees.”
School districts can override the cap with 60% of voters approving budgets that do so.