School Finance
June 24, 2020

Fact Sheet 20-16 98.4% Passage Rate for School Budgets

Source: NYSUT Research and Educational Services
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Voters across the state participated in school budget voting like never before and when the counting was finally completed, 663 school budgets were approved and eleven were defeated – a 98.4 percent passage rate, which is exactly the same as last year’s passage rate. Of the eleven districts that experienced a budget defeat, four were attempting to pierce their Tax Levy Limit and therefore needed a super-majority (60 percent) for approval. Nine districts were successful in their Tax Levy Limit override attempt.

Although the passage rate of 98.4% was the same as in 2019, over one million more votes were recorded in 2020. In 2019 the total number of votes cast on school budgets was 524,815 compared to 1,578,845 in 2020 – an increase of 201%.

Based on an Executive Order from Governor Cuomo, it is expected that districts with a defeated budget will be given an opportunity to have a revote. The current Executive Order indicates that revotes will occur on a date to be determined (but not prior to July 9th) and will be conducted in a manner to be determined in a future Executive Order. If a district has their budget revote defeated, they must adopt a contingency budget and they may not increase their tax levy above the previous year's levy—a 0 percent cap.

The following chart provides a listing of those districts that had their budget defeated.

2019 Budget Defeats (by County) 

DISTRICT COUNTY
CHEEKTOWAGA Erie
DOLGEVILLE* (56.6%) Herkimer
EAST RAMAPO Rockland
EDEN Erie
FORT EDWARD* (52.8%)
Washington
JOHNSTON* (57.3%)
Fulton
MONTICELLO
Sullivan
RENSSELAER* (33.1%)
Rensselaer
RIVERHEAD
Suffolk
UNIONDALE
Nassau
 VALLEY STREAM 13 Nassau

* District needed a super-majority 60% for approval. The number in parenthesis is the percentage of YES votes


BKB/vp
June 2020

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