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September 1, 2011

 

DiNapoli: New Web Page to Help Localities Navigate Tax Cap Reform

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today launched a new web page, “Real Property Tax Cap,” to guide localities as they begin to develop their budgets under the new law enacted this year. DiNapoli noted that localities will be able to report their property tax data electronically.

New York’s new property tax cap 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, or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower.  For local governments with fiscal years that begin on January 1, 2012, the cap will be 2 percent, DiNapoli said.

“This new tax cap is complex, and our new site will help localities navigate those complexities and report accurate information,” DiNapoli said. “I have directed my staff to do all we can to help local governments properly implement this important initiative.”  

State law requires localities to calculate their tax levy limits and report their computation information to the Comptroller’s office before they adopt annual budgets. All local governments (except New York City) and most school districts statewide must incorporate the tax cap for the local fiscal year or school year beginning in 2012.  

The cap also applies to many smaller independent entities, such as fire, water, sewer, refuse, and library districts governed by independent boards. Localities can override the cap with a 60 percent vote either by their local governing body or, in the case of a school district, by the voting public.  The Comptroller is also responsible for establishing the requirements for a reserve for any taxes levied in error in excess of the cap and determining the impact on tax caps when local governments transfer functions, dissolve, or consolidate.  

The new web page provides information on the tax cap and instructs participants how to report the data required to compute their tax levy limit.  The actual reporting form will be sent to each locality with a unique user ID and password.  The online form automatically applies the formula and displays the total tax levy limit, both before and after exclusions and adjustments.  Users also will be able to save their work and return to finish data entry at a later date.  

The Comptroller’s Office will be conducting a webinar for local government and school officials on Thursday September 8, 2011 in partnership with the Association of Towns, Government Finance Officers Association, New York State Association of Counties and the New York Conference of Mayors. Local officials are encouraged to visit the Local Government section of the Comptroller’s website to register for the webinar. Comptroller’s Office staff will be available to provide training sessions in person as needed throughout the state. To request a training session, local leaders should contact their respective OSC regional office.

The Comptroller’s website will be updated frequently.

 

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