Today’s announcement that property tax levy growth for school districts will be capped at 0.12 percent next year will create a hardship for school districts and their ability to meet student needs.
That’s because schools will not be able to raise any meaningful new revenue without obtaining a 60 percent supermajority in support of their budget – a very challenging task.
To put this into perspective, the median school tax levy in 2015-16 was slightly less than $15 million. Under a 0.12 percent tax cap, the levy would generate less than $18,000 in additional local revenue – not enough to hire a full-time teacher.
The alarmingly low tax cap reinforces the need for significantly more state education aid, beyond that proposed in the Executive Budget.