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Tax Levy Limit legislation information

What is the tax levy limit?

Tax Levy Vocabulary

• Tax Levy: The total dollars that a school district collects from property owners within the district to balance its budget. The levy is determined after accounting for all other sources of income, including state aid.
• Tax Levy Limit: A calculated tax levy amount (according to a state formula) that sets the threshold needed for 60 percent voter approval. Despite its name, it does not set a limit on the tax levy that a school district can propose.
• Tax Rate: The percentage used to calculate what each property owner will pay in school taxes. The district tax levy along with assessment rates and equalization rates help determine the tax rate. The school tax rates that are set vary from town to town.

At the end of June 2011, the New York State Legislature enacted a property tax “cap” that seeks to limit the annual increase in the tax levies of local governments and school districts. The new legislation will affect district planning starting with the 2012-13 school budget.

Although the new law has been referred to as a “2 percent tax cap,” it does not actually restrict any proposed tax levy increase to 2 percent. What it does is establish a tax levy limit (which will be determined by each district according to an eight-step, complex formula dictated by the law, and will vary by district) that determines the number of votes needed to pass a school budget.

Find out more about this legislation by reading the articles below.

Please note: This information will be updated as clarifications and new information regarding the legislation are made available at the state level.

Back to the 2012-13 Budget Page


Regional Publication
Capital Region BOCES, in partnership with Questar III BOCES, has released the publication "Understanding New York's Property Tax Levy Cap As It Relates To Public Schools."

Download Full Publication

Understanding New York's Property Tax Levy Cap

Property Tax Levy Limit Q & A

Read some common questions about the new property tax legislation. READ FULL STORY


New York State property tax legislation overview

Read a summary of the new legislation and the impact expected by district leaders. READ FULL STORY


Why it’s NOT a “2 percent tax cap”

Although the new law has been referred to as a “2 percent tax cap,” it does not restrict any proposed tax levy increase to 2 percent, nor does it prohibit individuals’ property taxes from increasing more than 2 percent. READ FULL STORY


The three tax levy numbers

During the school budget development process, taxpayers will hear three sets of numbers: the tax levy limit, the maximum allowable levy, and the proposed tax levy. Find out what each number represents. READ FULL STORY


A look at the exemptions under the law

It is possible for a district to propose a school budget that carries a tax levy that is above the limit and still only need a simple majority for it to pass. This is because the new law allows certain exemptions to be excluded from the tax levy limit. READ FULL STORY


Mandate relief measures and the tax “cap”

The tax “cap” legislation was approved with a package of changes intended to control school districts and local governments spending. These included the creation of a Mandate Relief Council to curb some of the laws and regulations that lead to escalating expenses for school districts and local government. READ FULL STORY