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November 22, 2011


Fire Districts Failed to Comply With
the Governor’s Property Tax Cap Law

Updated List Shows Fire Districts That Have Not Complied

Most of New York’s 882 fire districts recently passed budgets without filing the required tax cap data, according to the State Comptroller’s office. The electronic filings were due by November 4.  State law requires them to file their tax cap calculation for review by OSC prior to the adoption of their annual budgets.

Initially, the Comptroller’s office mailed warning letters to 613 tardy districts, following up with telephone outreach to dozens of districts.  Chapter 97 of the Laws of 2011, also known as the Governor’s Property Tax Cap Law, requires localities to report their tax levy data to the Comptroller’s office before they adopt annual budgets. Those who do not do so risk calculating their tax cap in error.  If the tax levy adopted is in error, any excess funds must be placed in reserve and may only be used to offset the tax levy in the ensuing fiscal year.  

Meanwhile, the Comptroller’s office identified a glitch in its online filing system that prevented some districts from submitting their forms. Prior to announcing delinquencies, the Comptroller’s office reached out via phone, email and letters to delinquent districts.  The Comptroller’s office is providing guidance to delinquent districts that need additional assistance.

This is the first round of budgets coming due that must be in compliance with the new tax cap.  The next deadline, this month, is for most towns, followed by school districts in the spring. The Comptroller’s office will continue to work with localities and all parties subject to the new law to assist them in meeting their filing obligations under the law. 

Comptroller DiNapoli's web page, "Real Property Tax Cap," is available to help localities navigate the complexities of the property tax cap. State law restricts tax levy increases for local governments, most school districts and other smaller independent entities, such as library, fire or water districts, to no more than 2 percent this year.

A list of fire districts which failed to meet the filing deadline can be found here.

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