are they and what do they represent?
process to develop a school budget, taxpayers will hear three
different 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-defined 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
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 information, download the
PDF of The three tax levy numbers under New York state’s tax
levy “cap” by Capital Region BOCES and Questar III.
As always, parents, staff, students and taxpayers are urged to
voice their opinions on these matters to our elected leaders.
A look a the exemptions under the law
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.