Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Majority of State's Fire Districts Failed to Meet Deadline Under Governor's Property Tax Cap Law

Cattaraugus and Allegany are on the list:

More than 56 percent of New York's 882 fire districts recently passed budgets without filing the required tax cap data with the Office of the State Comptroller, according to State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. The electronic filings were due by November 4. State law requires fire districts to file their proposed budget data for review by OSC prior to adoption of their annual budgets to ensure that the districts' tax cap calculations are accurate.
Last week, the Comptroller's office mailed warning letters to 613 tardy districts, following up with telephone outreach to dozens of districts. By Monday, 497 districts remained delinquent. The Governor's Property Tax Cap Law (Chapter 97 of the Laws of 2011), requires localities to report their tax levy data to the Comptroller's office before they adopt their annual budgets to ensure that their tax cap calculations are correct. If a local tax levy is adopted in error, any funds collected in excess of the allowable cap must be placed in reserve and may only be used to offset the tax levy in the ensuing fiscal year.
This is the first round of budgets coming due under the new tax cap. Towns face the next deadline, which is this week, followed by cities and counties by the end of the year, and then school districts and villages in the spring. The Comptroller's office will continue to work with all parties subject to the new law to assist them in meeting their filing obligations.
Comptroller DiNapoli's web page, "Real Property Tax Cap," is available to help localities navigate the complexities of the property tax cap. State law restricts tax levy increases for local governments, most school districts and other smaller independent entities, such as library, fire or water districts, to no more than 2 percent this year.
A list of fire districts which failed to meet the filing deadline can be found here.

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