Bill S6566-2013

Relates to reducing school taxes and prohibiting unfunded mandates

Enacts the school property tax reduction act to reduce school taxes and prohibit unfunded mandates; institutes cost saving measures and prohibits increased spending.

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  • Feb 6, 2014: REFERRED TO EDUCATION

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S6566

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, the legislative law and the state finance law, in relation to enacting the school property tax reduction act

PURPOSE: To change the manner in which we fund education in New York State by increasing the state's overall percentage of payment. To prohibit the state legislature from mandating action by school or school districts without providing appropriate funding, provide appropriation in each year's state budget to fund state mandates on schools. To require New York State to pay one hundred percent of the cost of student transportation.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 titles this law the School Property Tax Reduction Act.

Section 2 amends Section 3602 by adding a new subdivision to increase foundation aid 10% above 2013-14 levels for school the 2014-15 budget and increase those levels by five percent a year until state aid represents 65 percent of the revenue in a school budget.

Section 3 amends section 3623 of the education law to require the state to pay 100% of school transportation costs.

Section 4 amends the education law to require school districts to decrease tax levy in the amount of increases in state foundation and transportation aid.

Section 5 amends the legislative law by adding a new section 49 to prohibit unfunded mandates on schools or school districts.

Section 6 amends the state finance law by adding a new section 28 to provide that each year the state budget must make appropriations to reimburse schools and school districts when the state mandates actions.

Section 7 sets forth this action shall take effect immediately.

JUSTIFICATION: Funding education on the backs of homeowners and other property owners results in New York having among the highest property taxes in the county Despite actions over the last few years intended to reduce property taxes, taxes are still increasing making it far too costly to live or run a business in New York At the same time costs associated with education continue to rise. We are at a crossroads and we must find a way to invest more wisely in our children's education so that they can compete and succeed in the economy of tomorrow.

Many of the increasing expenses experienced in schools budgets stem from actions required by state laws or regulations that are imposed without corresponding funding. These costs can represent as much as 80 percent of a school budget. Transportation costs represents one such area and in some instances transportation can represent 12 percent of a school budget.

State government has compounded the problem of these mandates by significantly decreasing the portion of education funding that it provides to local school districts over the last twenty years. Currently, New York only provides 46 percent of the total cost of educating a student in New York while local governments contribute 47 percent. Many other states contribute 65 percent or more which reduces the burden of local property taxes to fund public education. The state of Hawaii provides nearly 100% of the funding for state education. The state contribution to education was not always as low as 46 percent. As recently as 2010, New York State funded 50 percent of the total cost of public education in New York State. In FY 2010, 32 states had larger state shares of public education funding than New York State. Furthermore, since FY 2008, fourteen states have increased their per-student spending by an average of 5.6 percent. In that same period, New York State has reduced its per-student spending by 5.1%.

As a result of these changes, schools cannot keep up and we are depriving our children of a quality education. New York State must return toward paying its fair share of the total cost of public education which would greatly alleviate the substantial burden on homeowners and businesses.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: This is a new bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: This bill will lead to lower property taxes for property owners.

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Reduce property taxes for homeowners and business owners without impacting the revenue levels for schools and school districts.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6566 IN SENATE February 6, 2014 ___________
Introduced by Sen. GIPSON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Education AN ACT to amend the education law, the legislative law and the state finance law, in relation to enacting the school property tax reduction act THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. This act shall be known and cited as the "School Property Tax Reduction Act". S 2. Section 3602 of the education law is amended by adding a new subdivision 4-a to read as follows: 4-A. INCREASED FOUNDATION AID. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF THIS SECTION OR ANY OTHER LAW TO THE CONTRARY, IN THE TWO THOUSAND FOUR- TEEN--TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN SCHOOL YEAR, EACH SCHOOL DISTRICT SHALL RECEIVE A TEN PERCENT INCREASE IN THE AMOUNT OF TOTAL FOUNDATION AID, AS DETERMINED BY SUBDIVISION FOUR OF THIS SECTION, OVER THE TWO THOUSAND THIRTEEN--TWO THOUSAND FOURTEEN SCHOOL YEAR. BEGINNING IN THE TWO THOU- SAND FIFTEEN--TWO THOUSAND SIXTEEN SCHOOL YEAR EACH SCHOOL DISTRICT SHALL RECEIVE A FIVE PERCENT INCREASE IN THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF FOUNDATION AID, AS DETERMINED BY SUBDIVISION FOUR OF THIS SECTION, OVER THE PREVI- OUS YEAR UNTIL SUCH TIME AS THE PROPORTION OF TOTAL STATE AID TO THE TOTAL TAX LEVEL OF SUCH SCHOOL DISTRICT IS SIXTY-FIVE PERCENT. S 3. Section 3623-a of the education law is amended by adding a new subdivision 4 to read as follows: 4. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF THIS ARTICLE TO THE CONTRA- RY, FOR SCHOOL YEARS COMMENCING AFTER JUNE THIRTIETH, TWO THOUSAND FOUR- TEEN, STATE TRANSPORTATION AID SHALL BE EQUAL TO ALL TRANSPORTATION COSTS INCURRED BY A SCHOOL DISTRICT. S 4. The education law is amended by adding a new section 2023-b to read as follows: S 2023-B. TAX LEVY; FOUNDATION AID. EVERY SCHOOL DISTRICT SHALL DECREASE THE TAX LEVY BELOW THE AMOUNT ESTABLISHED THE PRIOR YEAR BY AN AMOUNT WHICH IS THE PERCENTAGE INCREASE IN STATE FOUNDATION AID PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION FOUR-A OF SECTION THIRTY-SIX HUNDRED TWO OF THIS CHAPTER.
S 5. The legislative law is amended by adding a new section 49 to read as follows: S 49. PROHIBITION ON UNFUNDED MANDATES ON SCHOOLS AND SCHOOL DISTRICTS. 1. (A) ANY PROVISION OF LAW DETERMINED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS SECTION TO BE AN UNFUNDED MANDATE SHALL BE VOID. (B) A PROVISION OF LAW THAT REQUIRES A SCHOOL OR SCHOOL DISTRICT TO EXPEND FUNDS OR TO TAKE ACTIONS REQUIRING THE EXPENDITURE OF FUNDS SHALL BE DEEMED AN UNFUNDED MANDATE IF SUCH PROVISION OF LAW RESULTS IN AN AGGREGATE NET INCREASE OF TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS OR MORE IN NECESSARY DIRECT EXPENDITURES BY ANY SCHOOL OR SCHOOL DISTRICT OF THE STATE. ANY SUCH AGGREGATE NET INCREASE IN EXPENDITURES SHALL BE OFFSET BY: (I) MONIES PROVIDED TO SCHOOLS OR SCHOOL DISTRICTS FOR THE SPECIFIC PURPOSE OF FUNDING SUCH PROVISION OF LAW; AND (II) DECREASES IN EXPENDITURES EXPECTED TO RESULT FROM OTHER PROVISIONS OF LAW ENACTED CONCURRENTLY THEREWITH THAT REPEAL, REDUCE OR MODIFY EXISTING MANDATES ON SCHOOL OR SCHOOL DISTRICT. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, ALL BUDGET BILLS AND LEGISLATION NECESSARY TO IMPLEMENT THE BUDGET ENACTED PURSUANT TO ARTI- CLE SEVEN OF THE CONSTITUTION SHALL BE DEEMED TO HAVE BEEN CONCURRENTLY ENACTED INTO LAW. (C) FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, THE TERM "LAW" SHALL MEAN A STATUTE ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE, AN EXECUTIVE ORDER ISSUED BY THE GOVERNOR, AND A RULE OR REGULATION PROMULGATED BY A STATE AGENCY, DEPARTMENT, BOARD, BUREAU, OFFICER, AUTHORITY OR COMMISSION. 2. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY PROVISION OF THIS SECTION TO THE CONTRARY, THE FOLLOWING TYPES OF LAWS SHALL NOT BE CONSIDERED UNFUNDED MANDATES: (A) THOSE THAT HAVE BEEN REQUESTED BY THE AFFECTED SCHOOL OR SCHOOL DISTRICT, OR WHICH HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED BY THE AFFECTED SCHOOL OR SCHOOL DISTRICT; (B) THOSE APPLICABLE TO BOTH GOVERNMENT AND NON-GOVERNMENT ENTITIES IN THE SAME OR A SUBSTANTIALLY SIMILAR MANNER; AND (C) THOSE IN FULL FORCE AND EFFECT PRIOR TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION, INCLUDING ANY PROVISION OF LAW THAT EXTENDS OR REAUTHORIZES SUCH A LAW. S 6. The state finance law is amended by adding a new section 28 to read as follows: S 28. MANDATE RELIEF FOR SCHOOLS AND SCHOOL DISTRICTS. EACH FISCAL YEAR THE BUDGET SUBMITTED BY THE GOVERNOR AND ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE SHALL CONTAIN SEPARATE AND DISTINCT APPROPRIATIONS TO REIMBURSE SCHOOLS AND SCHOOL DISTRICTS FOR THE ENTIRETY OF ANY ADDITIONAL EXPENSES INCURRED BY SUCH SCHOOL OR SCHOOL DISTRICT PURSUANT TO ANY STATE LAW, RULE OR REGULATION ENACTED TO COMPLY WITH A REQUIREMENT ESTABLISHED BY FEDERAL LAWS, RULES OR REGULATIONS TO THE EXTENT THAT SUCH STATE LAWS, RULES OR REGULATIONS REQUIRE THE ASSUMPTION OF ADDITIONAL COSTS ABOVE THOSE IMPOSED BY SUCH FEDERAL REQUIREMENTS. S 7. This act shall take effect immediately.

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