2021-22 property tax return sheets
As required by law, each year prior to the school budget vote, all districts must submit a property tax return sheet to the New York State Department of Education (SED). The data contained in the 2021 Property Tax Bulletin compares the 2020-21 school budget with the proposed 2021-22 school budget and the 2020-21 tax levy with the projected 2021-22 tax levy. This year, the vote will take place on May 18, 2021; with the exception of seven school districts that received special permission to conduct their budget votes and school board elections on May 11, 2021 due to a conflict with a religious holiday.
A total of 668 school districts submitted their 2021 property tax return forms. School districts in the Big Five City are not covered by this requirement because residents of those districts do not vote on their school budgets.
In addition to increases in spending and tax levies, districts are also required to report three parts of the fund balance on the property tax report card: (1) the amount and percentage of the unallocated fund balance, ( 2) the restricted fund balance and (3) the restricted fund balance. Although the unallocated fund balance is legally limited to no more than 4%, 227 school districts have indicated that they estimate they will have a fund balance above this legal limit for 2021-2022. Additionally, 308 school districts have indicated they will be at the 4% limit for 2021-2022.
Districts are also required to submit detailed information on their earmarked reserve funds: the name of each reserve fund, a description of its purpose, the balance at the end of the third quarter (3/31) of the current fiscal year and a brief statement explaining any plans to use each of these reserve funds for the coming year.
School districts also provided information associated with calculating their property tax levy limits. Statewide, 19 school districts are proposing a property tax levy for 2021-2022 that exceeds their maximum tax levy limit, meaning these districts must obtain the approval of at least 60% of voters in order for them to be approved. their budget is adopted.1
The full dataset is available on the SED website at:
Reserve fund data is available at:
According to the data in the 668 property tax report cards, school districts are proposing, on average, budgets for 2021-2022 that contain an increase in spending of 2.73%. Last year, the statewide average spending increase that districts reported in their 2020-2021 school budgets was 1.68%. The following graph presents a recent history of average spending increases across the state.
The property tax scorecards also reveal that the average increase in tax levies contained in the proposed school budgets for 2021-2022 is 1.29%. Last year, the average increase in statewide taxes was 2.13%. The following table presents a recent history of average state-wide tax increases.
(1) The 19 districts are: Bridgehampton, Brushton-Moira, Cuba-Rushford, Fabius-Pompey, Frankfort-Schuyler, Geneseo, Herkimer, Islip, Lansing, Mamaroneck, Nouveau Liban, Newfield, Poland, Sauquoit Valley, Schenevus, Three Village, Wantagh, Waterville and Worcester.
BKB / vp