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July 30, 2014
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‘Convoluted’ tax cap creates confusion; ECS elementary school principal search to begin


Dufour will screen applicants and select three qualified candidates. A committee of parents, community leaders, teachers, support staff, administrators and students will be selected to interview the three candidates and rate them. The successful candidate will be recommended to the Board of Education for appointment commencing July 1.

Meanwhile, Dufour said faculty, staff and students have been very cooperative during the transition following the retirement of former principal Kathryn Ryan. While Dufour continues to evaluate programming components, he has made no decision as to whether or not to hire an interim principal through June 30.


Key points to understand

• The tax levy is the total amount of property taxes a school district must collect to balance its budget, after accounting for all other revenue sources including state aid. The tax levy is the basis for determining the tax rate for each of the cities, towns or villages that make up a school district.

• The new law does not prohibit tax levy increases greater than two percent. Although the new law has been referred to as a “2% tax cap,” it does not, in fact, restrict any proposed tax levy increase to 2%. Every district must calculate its own “tax levy limit.” Two percent (or the rate of inflation, if less) is just one of eight factors in this calculation.

• The law also establishes a higher threshold of voter approval for a budget to pass if a district’s proposed tax levy increase (before exemptions outlined in the law) exceeds its individual “tax levy limit.”

• The new law applies to the tax levy, not to tax rates or individual tax bills.

• Visit http://ecs.schoolwires.com/site/default.aspx?PageID=1 to see three informative documents covering the tax cap on the ECS website. For additional information provided by the Sullivan County Board of Cooperative Educational Services, click here.