School Finance
May 27, 2015

Record 98.7% passage rate for school budgets

Source: NYSUT Research and Educational Services

Fact Sheet No. 15-11
May 2015

On May 19th, voters across the state approved 666 school budgets and defeated just nine – a 98.7 percent approval rate, the highest passage rate of all time. Despite this record approval rate many districts continue to struggle with the property tax cap and the lingering effects of state aid cuts that were enacted in both the 2010-11 school year and the 2011-12 school year. Of the nine districts that experienced a budget defeat, seven were attempting to pierce their Tax Levy Limit and therefore needed a super-majority (60 percent) for approval. Twelve districts were successful in their attempt to override their Tax Levy Limit.

Districts with a defeated budget may resubmit the same budget to the voters, resubmit a revised budget to the voters, or adopt a contingency budget. If a school district chooses to have a budget revote, it must occur on June 16th – the third Tuesday in June. If a second budget proposal is defeated, the district must adopt a contingency budget. Districts that adopt a contingency budget may not increase the tax levy above the previous year's levy —a 0 percent cap.

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