Bill S7133A-2013

Relates to the Tuckahoe common school district merger with the Southampton school district in Suffolk county

Relates to the Tuckahoe common school district merger with the Southampton school district in Suffolk county; authorizes the Southampton school district to establish a reserve for tax reduction to maintain the successor school district estimated tax rate for taxpayers of the Southampton school district existing before the voter approval of the dissolution and annexation of the Tuckahoe common school district at the level of such tax rate in the Southampton school district for the school year before the voter approval of the dissolution and annexation of the Tuckahoe common school district.

Details

Actions

  • Jun 17, 2014: returned to senate
  • Jun 17, 2014: passed assembly
  • Jun 17, 2014: ordered to third reading rules cal.306
  • Jun 17, 2014: substituted for a9461a
  • Jun 10, 2014: referred to ways and means
  • Jun 10, 2014: DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • Jun 10, 2014: PASSED SENATE
  • Jun 3, 2014: ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1127
  • Jun 3, 2014: COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
  • May 30, 2014: PRINT NUMBER 7133A
  • May 30, 2014: AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT
  • Apr 30, 2014: REFERRED TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Calendars

Votes

VOTE: COMMITTEE VOTE: - Rules - Jun 3, 2014
Ayes (23): Skelos, Libous, Bonacic, Carlucci, Farley, Flanagan, Hannon, Larkin, LaValle, Marcellino, Maziarz, Nozzolio, Seward, Valesky, Little, Stewart-Cousins, Breslin, Dilan, Hassell-Thompson, Montgomery, Parker, Perkins, Gianaris
Ayes W/R (1): Krueger
Excused (1): Espaillat

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S7133A

TITLE OF BILL: An act in relation to the Tuckahoe common school district merger with the Southampton school district in Suffolk county

PURPOSE:

Provides that upon voter approval of the dissolution and annexation of the Tuckahoe Common School District into the Southampton Union Free School District in Suffolk County, the newly merged Southampton School District shall be authorized to establish a dedicated reserve fund for the purpose of reducing property taxes for the residents of the Southampton School District.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1. Upon voter approval of the dissolution and annexation of the Tuckahoe Common School District into the Southampton School District in Suffolk County, the successor school district (Southampton School District) is authorized to establish a reserve fund to be utilized for the purpose of lowering property taxes for district residents.

Section 2. Directs the Southampton School District to annually provide a detailed report of the condition of the school district reserve fund for tax reductions.

Section 3. Provides that the funds in the school district reserve for tax reduction shall be used to maintain Southampton School District's estimated tax rate that was in place prior to the merger.

Section 4. Immediate effective date

JUSTIFICATION:

Tuckahoe Common School District is comprised of one school building that educates students from pre-K to eighth grade. Most students from Tuckahoe who advance to the high school level are sent to the Southampton Union Free School District by way of a tuition agreement. Tuckahoe's tuition bill is becoming over burdensome for Tuckahoe. If Tuckahoe sent their students to a district other than Southampton, Southampton would then experience a significant reduction in revenue and would consequently have to cut staff, AP courses and some electives. Further, the State's tax cap makes it difficult for each district to raise taxes enough to solve its problems.

As a means of addressing the fiscal concerns of the districts while at the same time, continuing to provide a quality educational program for all of the students, the districts commissioned a study to determine if reorganization could provide enhanced opportunities for both the districts and the students.

In many ways, Southampton and Tuckahoe are ideal for a merger as their demographics are similar. No new buildings or major renovations would be necessary. Many students already know each other though the community, sports, scouts and the local youth center. Further, the findings of the "Reorganization Feasibility Study on Behalf of

Southampton UFSD and Tuckahoe Common SD" (prepared by the SES Study Team, LLC) that were released in July 2013, estimated a budget for the combined district of $71.5 million, $9 million less than the combined budgets of the two districts last year. With wide community support, the prospects looked promising for a merger. However, the proposal was actually voted down when put before the voters due to the disproportionate impact on property taxes. In a merged district, tax rates would be equalized thereby resulting in a significant increase in property taxes for Southampton residents.

This legislation offers a viable solution to address this legitimate concern. Upon the approval of the voters for the dissolution and annexation of the Tuckahoe Common School District into the Southampton Union Free School District, the Southampton Union Free School District would be is authorized to establish a reserve for tax reduction purposes using $9 million capital monies that Southampton currently has in reserve to construct a new administration building which would no longer be needed if the merger where to occur. This reserve would be used exclusively for tax reduction purposes to ensure that the Southampton School District's estimated tax rate that was in place in the school year prior to the merger is maintained.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2014: New Legislation

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

To be determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ S. 7133--A A. 9461--A S E N A T E - A S S E M B L Y April 30, 2014 ___________
IN SENATE -- Introduced by Sen. LAVALLE -- read twice and ordered print- ed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Local Govern- ment -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee IN ASSEMBLY -- Introduced by M. of A. THIELE -- read once and referred to the Committee on Education -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT in relation to the Tuckahoe common school district merger with the Southampton school district in Suffolk county THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary and to trans- fer funds from a capital reserve fund pursuant to this section, upon voter approval of the dissolution and annexation of the Tuckahoe common school district into the Southampton school district in Suffolk county, such successor school district shall be authorized to establish a reserve for tax reduction pursuant to subdivision 37 of section 1709 of the education law. The proceeds of such reserve fund shall only include the proceeds of a capital reserve fund established by the Southampton school district existing before the voter approval of the dissolution and annexation of the Tuckahoe common school district, for the purposes of construction of a new district office building, where the school board of the successor school district determines by resolution that such capital project and reserve fund is no longer necessary for the operation of the successor district. The proceeds of such reserve for tax reduction shall only be utilized for tax reduction for taxpayers of the Southampton school district existing before the voter approval of the dissolution and annexation of the Tuckahoe common school district, in the manner provided for by this act. S 2. The successor school district shall annually provide a detailed report of the condition of the school district reserve for tax reduction, including but not limited to: (a) the date the fund was established, (b) the balance of the fund at the close of the immediately
preceding school year, (c) the amount of interest earned at the close of the immediately preceding school year, and (d) a schedule of the amounts invested. S 3. Funds in the school district reserve for tax reduction shall be used to maintain the successor school district estimated tax rate for taxpayers of the Southampton school district existing before the voter approval of the dissolution and annexation of the Tuckahoe common school district at the level of such tax rate in the Southampton school district for the school year before the voter approval of the dissol- ution and annexation of the Tuckahoe common school district. S 4. This act shall take effect immediately.

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