The spending for Long Island schools may go up as much as 2.35% for 2017 – 2018. This increase is more than the current hikes, but still remains within the tax-cap restrictions for the state in most districts.
Recent figures released from the state Education department show the budget spending could go up as much as 2.36% in Nassau County and 2.33% in Suffolk County. The tax levies are also going to go up by 1.37% in Nassau County and 2.10% in Suffolk.
The new budget for the school districts passed in May in every district. This was mainly due to the 1.73% increase in taxes, which was lower than some may have originally expected. There still seems to be a sense that many believe the schools need funding and the budget increases should be approved.
The New Suffolk District, which is a very small district challenged the tax-cap limit and still passed without issue. Voters approved a $1.1 million budget with 52 votes for it and 15 against. This district only operates one elementary school, but sends older students on a tuition basis to Southhold. Budget increases were necessary with four new high school students moving into the county, adding to the current 25 students.
Even in the larger Massapequa district, the $194.6 million budget was approved by voters. It came with a 2.38% tax-levy increase and passed with 3,159 votes in favor and 1,116 against.
While many of the districts will see a tax increase, one district in Suffolk and five in Nassau are actually lowering taxes. Valley Stream is one of them, which expects a cut of 15.7%. Some of these cuts are in order to fulfill promises made to property owners.
While the administrators of Valley Stream hope for property tax relief for homeowners, they are not sure if this will be the case, due to many complexities within the Nassau tax system. This includes the four classes of taxable property, which causes a burden in each class. Another issue is the largest PILOT payments come from Green Acres, which is dealing with legal disputes.
These issues could keep the state from receiving the same payments compared to the past. There are still many questions to be answers, but many of the areas throughout Long Island will see property taxes increase due to the larger school budget during the 2017 and 2018 school year.