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School Budget Affected By Two Percent Tax Cap

The NHP-GCP board meeting explained the two percent tax cap and its significance.

The New Hyde Park-Garden City Park board of education meeting informed residents what the two percent cap is on Monday night at .

Michael Frank, Assistant Superintendent for Business, explained the tax cap and gave a powerpoint presentation on the budget.

The five year business plan includes a desire to eliminate the need for having to issue bonds and utilize money from reserves in an effort to offset losses from the state.

Frank stressed that the often misunderstood pertains only to the total amount of the district’s levy. In other words, a two percent tax cap will not result in a two percent increase in tax levy.

A person’s tax bill is affected by their home assessment, the total assessment of Class one taxpayers in the community, the breakout of levy to four classes, and tax levy. Other items affecting the tax cap are tax certioraris, in which the county transfers responsibility to district, and state aid.

The powerpoint presentation mentioned how Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently said that the state budget deficit is growing and his budget director, Robert Megna, sent a memo to state agency commissioners requiring a 2.5 percent cut to their 2011-2012 budgets. Frank said this will most likely jeopardize the $805 million school aid increase built into the 2012-2013 state budget.

Frank then explained what the School Tax Relief Program, also known as STAR, is about.

“The whole purpose of STAR is to help pay the homeowners tax bill. It’s complete sharing in the tax that should be generated by a particular home being in a community,” Frank said.

For basic STAR, the state contributes the first $180 of assessed value and for enhanced STAR, the state pays the first $370 of the assessed value while the tax payer pays the remaining assessed value.

Frank compared an individuals bill which increased from 2010-2011 to 2011-2012 and said the STAR contribution is “not what it used to be.” 

It’s no longer the $370 times the tax rate; it’s now the 2011 STAR payment increased by two percent and the taxpayer picks up the difference.

The new formula results in the tax bill increasing for the 2011-2012 school year which Frank said is fine but “they didn’t educate everybody to the fact that they were doing this.”

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