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More seek tax cap relief

A larger percentage of taxing districts is seeking relief this year from the state’s 2 percent tax-increase cap than did so last year.
State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced that 2,416 counties, cities, towns, school districts and fire districts have filed their 2013 property tax cap report. More than 18 percent of these entities indicated they plan to override the tax cap in 2013.
The cap can be overridden by a 60 percent majority of the taxing entity’s governing board or, in the case of a school district, by 60 percent of its voters, the comptroller’s office reported.
Nearly a third of county governments – 32 percent – seek to override the state-mandated 2 percent limit on annual property tax hike. Cities – 30 percent – constitute the next largest cohort seeking more than the cap allows, followed by 29 percent of towns and 15 percent of fire districts.

The comptroller’s office noted that 13 of the state’s 61 cities are not reflected in the data.
Just 5 percent of school districts have filed with the comptroller to exceed the cap.
Last year, nearly 15 percent of municipalities, school districts and fire districts indicated they would override the state’s property tax cap arrpoved in 2011, the comptroller reported. That included 21 percent of counties; 20 percent of cities; 21 percent of towns; 15 percent of fire districts and 6 percent of school districts.
The 2011 law affects all local governments, most school districts in New York except New York City and other independent taxing entities such as library, fire and water districts. Under the law, the growth in the property tax levy is capped at 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less.
The comptroller’s “Open Book New York” web page contains the full data.

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