April 5, 2017 - The Glens Falls Board of Education reviewed the nearly-complete 2017-18 budget proposal at an audit and finance committee meeting on April 5, where Asst. Superintendent for Business Robert Yusko detailed a $43 million spending plan that preserves all academic programming. View the presentation in full [HERE].
The Board of Education of the Glens Falls City School District is made up of nine members who are elected by qualified voters of the district. They serve without pay for five-year terms. The Board of Education, in serving its role as trustee of the district's five schools (three elementary, one Middle School, and one High School), is responsible for the development of the policy through which the Superintendent administers the educational program, the students, and the staff.
Any district resident interested in running for the school board should pick up a petition packet at the district office. Petitions, with 100 qualified voters' signatures, are due back in the district office by 5 p.m. on April 26, 2017.
“The tax cap was originally marketed, and largely understood, as a ‘two percent cap,’” the statewide School Business Officials group notes. “But the law actually reads ‘the lesser of two percent or the inflation factor’ and now for three years in a row [this figure in] the tax cap has been below two percent.”
The CPI figure surely affects the eight-part calculation of a school district’s property tax cap, but it’s only one of the key figures necessary to arrive at the final “cap,” explains business director Bobby Yusko. (see graphic, below left)
“For Glens Falls, other pieces of the tax cap calculation have a greater effect on our tax cap than the CPI figure,” says Mr. Yusko. “Since we’re still receiving building aid on our science and technology capital project, those exclusions are having a stronger impact on our tax cap than the CPI.”
Once the calculation is complete, school district tax levy increases are limited to the calculated percentage for 2017, unless voters approve a budget with at least a 60 percent supermajority to override the tax cap.
Revenue from property taxes makes up fully half (50.26 percent) of Glens Falls City School District’s annual budget. State education aid accounts for 43.28 percent of revenues, while other funding sources contribute the rest (6.46 percent).
The district’s current-year property tax levy is $19,961,153. The state aid figure for 2016-17 remains a moving target, as Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive budget proposal released Jan. 13 is now being debated by legislators. The state budget—and with it, finalized state aid figures—is due to be approved by the NYS Legislature by April 1.
A more detailed explanation of the tax cap calculation can be found in the reference materials below.
Although often referred to as a “2 percent tax cap,” New York’s new tax levy “cap” law does not restrict any proposed tax levy increase to 2 percent. Pursuant to the law, each school district must follow an 8-step calculation, outlined here, to calculate its individual “tax levy limit.” That limit then determines what level of voter support is required for budget approval.
The law's Allowable Growth Factor "2 percent" figure is actually calculated as "2 percent or the change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is lower." Districts have been advised that the starting point for the tax levy cap calculation for the 2016-17 budget year will be 0.12%, because "the Average Annual Change in the CPI for 2015 was 0.12%, making the Allowable Levy Growth Factor for the 2016-17 Tax Levy Limit 0.12%." [source: State Aid Planning]