Long Island School Budget Vote Recap
School & Education
By Amy Gernon
Published: May 17 2012
Based on Tuesday's school election results, Senate Majority Leader Skelos says the state's property-tax cap is working as it should.
In a surprising sweep, Long Islanders voted overwhelmingly in favor of their districts proposed school budgets. In fact, 99 percent of the Nassau and Suffolk school district’s passed their budgets, with only nine of Long Island’s 127 districts’ budgets failing, seven of which exceeded the state's new property-tax cap and required a supermajority for approval. The average tax increase across Long Island was 2.6 percent, the lowest regional increase in 15 years.
According to Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) this year’s elections were more than just a measure of how much residents were willing to pay in property taxes. This year’s proposed budgets were the first to be subject to the state’s property-tax cap of 2.13 percent increase to help curb spending. The cap could be overridden with a supermajority vote of 60 percent in favor of the higher tax increase, and across Long Island the mixed results demonstrate that residents are willing to their their local districts exactly what they want. Across the state, 60 percent of budgets exceeding the tax cap passed, just under the rate on Long Island.
Election results indicate that most voters, by roughly half, were in favor of their district’s proposed budget. Long Island’s largest school budget by far is Brentwood's, with an approved budget of $324,363,514. The second highest budget on the island was approved by the resident of the Half Hollow Hills district at $221,918,299.
Districts whose budgets failed are: Center Moriches, Comsewogue, East Islip, Elmont, Floral Park-Bellrose, Mount Sinai, Oyster Ponds, Three Village, and Tuckahoe. These districts will have to hold a second vote, and if the budget fails to pass a second time, they will assume an austerity budget which only covers basic contractual obligations.
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