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Local Government and School Accountability

Required Reporting: Constitutional Debt Limit

In New York State, Constitutional debt limits exist that impose constraints on the amount of debt that a local government can incur. Debt limits for counties, cities, towns, villages and school districts in cities (except for the Big 5 school districts) are percentages of the five-year average full valuation of taxable property within a municipality. The limit for school districts outside cities is a percentage of the current full valuation. Debt issued for the purpose of water supply and distribution and certain types of short term borrowings are excluded from the debt limit for counties, cities, towns and villages. In addition, a municipality can apply for exclusions from the limit for debt related to sewer projects and for certain types of self-liquidating debt.