NSCSD tax levy limit calculated at 4.78 percent

— The North Syracuse Central School District has calculated its property tax levy limit, with exclusions, to be 4.78 percent for the 2012-13 budget year.

This figure represents the most the North Syracuse property tax levy could increase without a supermajority (at least 60 percent) approval by residents who vote.

School officials caution that just because the district could propose a budget that calls for a 4.78 percent tax increase and still need just a simple majority of voters to approve it, doesn’t mean a decision has been made yet to do so. No final decisions have been made for the proposed 2012-13 school budget.

”The board of education has not yet determined the property tax levy increase for the 2012-13 school budget,” said Superintendent Kim Dyce Faucette. “We are still deliberating to find the most reasonable approach to balancing the budget with a tax levy increase that is responsible to our students, staff and community members.”

The district is currently facing a nearly $9.3 million budget gap due to rising expenses and a nearly $4.5 million decrease in non-school tax revenues compared to the 2011-12 budget.

If the district proposes a tax levy increase at 4.78 percent, which would not trigger the supermajority vote requirement, it would still be facing about a $5.8 million deficit that would have to be closed through program and service cuts.

“We know these are tough financial times for many of our district residents,” Dyce said. “We are closely examining every piece of our spending plan to ensure that the budget we present to voters balances the quality of our students’ educational opportunities with the tax burden our residents would take on to support those opportunities.”

State legislation enacted last June established a property tax levy cap in New York. The new law applies to the tax levy, not to tax rates or individual tax bills.

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