Niagara Gazette

Local News

February 13, 2014

Niagara-Wheatfield officials can't raise taxes for 2014-15 budget without overriding state tax cap

Niagara Gazette — The financial hits to Niagara-Wheatfield’s revenues keep coming. This time in the form of its tax levy.

Using preliminary calculations from the consumer price index, district business officials determined the 2014-15 tax levy threshold numbers allowed under the state’s property tax cap to be zero.

As in there won’t be any increase to the district’s tax levy in the budget proposed this coming May unless the district attempts to override the tax cap.

“We would not be able to increase our tax levy without a supermajority vote in May,” business manager Allison Brady said, discussing the figure at the school board meeting Wednesday.

Brady’s actual calculation came out to a negative levy change of minus-0.6 percent, but he explained the cap law cannot force districts or municipalities to decrease its collection figures.

This revelation compounds a problem from last month when Gov. Andrew Cuomo released his executive budget projections for district state aid, slightly reducing the total dollar amount Niagara-Wheatfield would receive in 2014-15. Following the governor’s budget, which awaits legislative input from the state Assembly and Senate, the district spent $500,000 in leftover money to purchase five new buses following a special election last week.

A state comptroller report released at the same time as the executive budget also revealed “significant fiscal stress” for Niagara-Wheatfield, explaining the district is highly susceptible to financial hardship due to a number of environmental and monetary factors.

Now officials will need to formulate its next spending plan without any new tax revenue coming in, a drastic change from the two most recent years on record. Tax collection in the district has increased by more than 4 percent each year despite massive layoffs to district personnel, a total of 4.85 percent in June 2012 and another 4.5 percent this past year.

Brady, who took her position in September, and Superintendent Lynn Fusco, who assumed control this past July, will be working to create a budget that deals with the limited resources the district will be faced with heading forward.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page
Poll

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results