The school budget is the biggest investment the community collectively makes with its tax dollars. District leaders work to make the most effective use of resources to benefit students, to develop and manage the budget in a responsible and transparent manner and to be accountable to taxpayers.
Each spring the board of education adopts a budget for the coming school year for a community vote. New York state has designated the third Tuesday in May as the date for school district budget votes. The date for the 2021-22 budget vote is planned for May 18, 2021.
2020-21 school budget at-a-glance
Budget increase: $2,423,616; 2.82%
Tax levy increase: $2,112,405; 3.33%
What is the difference between the tax levy and tax rate?
The tax levy is the total amount of money a school district raises in taxes each year from all property owners in the district. Tax rates are calculated by dividing the total amount of the levy by the total taxable assessed value in a community. Tax rates are affected by changes in municipal assessments and state equalization rates, which are determined in the summer. The tax rate is used to calculate each individual property tax bill.
What is the tax levy limit, or tax cap?
The tax levy limit is the highest allowable tax levy (before exemptions) that a school district can propose as part of its annual budget for which a simple majority of voters (50 percent + 1) would be required for authorization. Any proposed tax levy amount above this limit would require budget approval by a supermajority (60 percent or more) of voters. The tax levy limit sets a threshold requiring districts to obtain a higher level of community support for a proposed tax levy above a certain amount.
School tax information
Tax rates for each municipality within the district are set each August. They are based on the tax levy for the year and final municipal assessments for each of the towns. Tax rates vary between towns because property in each is assessed at different levels in relation to full market value. The state assigns each town an equalization rate to fairly divide the tax levy between the towns. The district does not control any part of the assessment or equalization process.
2020-21 school taxes
- Cazenovia: tax rate decrease of 0.35% and a corresponding tax rate of $25.65 per $1,000 of assessed value;
- DeWitt: tax rate decrease of 0.35% and a corresponding tax rate of $25.40 per $1,000 of assessed value;
- Pompey: tax rate increase of 5.25% and a corresponding tax rate of $28.53 per $1,000 of assessed value; and
- Sullivan: tax rate decrease of 0.35% and a corresponding tax rate of $27.60 per $1,000 of assessed value.
Questions about assessments and equalization rates should be directed to the appropriate town assessor’s office.