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What you don't know about the property tax cap

For all the talk about the property tax cap that seems headed our way, something has been kind of lost in the hubbub.

The details.

Chief among them is the fact that the proposed tax cap would not go into effect until the 2012-13 school year. That gives school districts one more year to play under the old rules (as long as your voters approve a budget, it's fair game).

Some of the other details worth noting (taken from the bill approved by the Senate in late January):

- A district's tax levy increase would be capped at 2 percent or the annual increase in the consumer price index, whichever is less.

- There is a way for schools to exceed the cap. If a district proposes a budget that exceeds the tax cap, the district would need 60 percent approval of the budget, rather than the standard 50 percent.

- If a budget fails to get voter approval, the district would have to submit a revised budget subject to a public vote on the third Tuesday in June. If this revised budget exceeds the tax cap, it would require approval by 60 percent of those voting.

- If the revised budget fails to get voter approval, the district would have to adopt a budget with no tax levy increase.

The tax cap, passed by the Senate and supported by the governor, still requires Assembly approval.

- Mary Pasciak

E-mail me at or follow me on Follow  SchoolZoneBlog on Twitter Twitter. Check out the Buffalo News' education page at

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About School Zone

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee joined The Buffalo News in 2007 and currently covers education and suburban schools. She also writes a column for the City & Region section and previously covered government in Erie County and Niagara Falls. Gee graduated from Boston University with degrees in journalism and political science.

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Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes joined The Buffalo News in 2013 and primarily covers the Buffalo Public Schools. She has written about education since 2003 at newspapers in Florida and New York. In 2008, she was a nominated finalist for The Pulitzer Prize. Lankes is an Amherst native and graduate of Sacred Heart Academy and Syracuse University. She started her journalism career writing for the News’ NeXt section.

@TiffanyLankes |

Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan has been a cityside reporter for The Buffalo News since 2000 and currently covers the Buffalo Public Schools beat. She previously covered the Williamsville school district and was a full-time education reporter for five years prior to joining The News. She graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

@BNschoolzone |

Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams began working for The Buffalo News in 1999 and currently covers Buffalo Public Schools. She formerly was a suburban reporter on the Northtowns beat and has been a cityside reporter covering communities since 2004. Williams has a mass communications degree from Towson University.

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