School Tax Shock
Homeowners will be shocked to learn that despite the new property tax cap law, school taxes will continue their upward spiral, driven by the generous pay raises and benefits negotiated by the teachers unions.
The new law, which goes into affect in the 2012-13 school year, allows districts to exceed the law’s 2 percent cap if 60 percent of voters approve. Since 96 percent of school budgets were passed last May, the 2 percent limit shouldn’t pose much of a problem for school officials who could count on the teachers unions and the PTA for support. Besides, the tax cap excludes spending on capital projects and certain other items. Both union and school officials will undoubtedly find innovative ways to reduce the effect of the tax cap law.
New York State spends the most in the nation to educate students; property taxes are 79 percent above the national average. Don’t expect that to change much anytime soon. The president of New York State United Teachers Union said that the present process “works pretty well.” Sure it does - maybe he should speak to one of the homeowners who is in foreclosure.
The average school tax rate in Nassau County will rise 4.5 percent this year. In the Franklin Square elementary school district, the school tax levy will increase 6.9 percent; teachers will get an average salary increase of 5.7 percent. In the Elmont school district, the tax levy will rise by nearly $3.5 million or a whopping 7.6 percent. Both school district homeowners are also taxed by the Sewanhaka central high school district whose tax levy will go up by 5.18 percent.
Teachers on Long Island are among the highest paid in the nation. Most earn $100,000 or more for 182 days work with about 20 hours a week in the classroom. The superintendent of the Syosset school district who received a pay raise this year of $18,376, now has a total compensation of $541,454 which is a bit more than the salary of Pres. Obama.