November 2013 Issue
October 28, 2013

Seven causes of action cited in union's tax cap challenge

Source: NYSUT United

Oral arguments in NYSUT's challenge of the state's tax cap law are expected to begin in December.

The union's challenge raises seven causes of action, saying the cap:

  • deprives students of a sound, basic education;
  • unconstitutionally strips local control away from districts and taxpayers;
  • infringes on districts' and voters' "liberty interest" to provide educational opportunity to children;
  • violates constitutional equal protection clauses by treating school districts unequally from local governments;
  • violates the one-person, one-vote protection by requiring a 60 percent supermajority for an override;
  • violates voters' right to equal protection under the law by diminishing their voting power; and
  • casts a chilling effect on voting as free expression by requiring a notice that a cap-exceeding budget plan would not be "neutral."

The Reform Educational Financing Inequities Today (REFIT), the Enlarged City School District of Middletown and the Association of Small City School Districts have filed amici curiae — "friend of the court" briefs — expressing their group's own concerns about the tax cap.