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Education Finance

education finance - current action

In 2007-2012, LWVNYS continued to advocate for full implementation of the foundation aid formula, developed in response to the CFE litigation. After the issuance of the New York State Commission on Property Tax Relief (known as the Suozzi Report) in 2008, the League issued a statement in opposition to tax caps unless and until foundation aid, with regular updates based on student need and income and property wealth, is fully implemented. The League recommended the replacement of the STAR programs with a property tax circuit breaker, which would tie property tax relief to the taxpayer’s ability to pay.

Testimony was provided at the joint legislative education and finance hearings in February of each of those years. See separate discussion under the caption Real Property Taxation herein for a fuller discussion of the League’s advocacy related to STAR. In 2010, the middle class STAR program was revised, curtailing some benefits to wealthier taxpayers, and imposing an income limitation of $500,000 beginning in 2011 on refunds. However, the Legislature still did not seriously consider substituting a property tax circuit breaker, but rather discussed it as an additional program. In 2011, the League testified at the public hearings of the Governor’s New New York Education Reform Commission, focusing primarily on League support for implementing the CFE decision and pointing to problems with the newly instituted tax cap.

education finance: League Position

education finance - Testimony
education finance - memos
education finance - Letters, Press Releases, Op Ed Pieces, and Press Coverage

Real Property Taxation:  
School Tax Relief Program (STAR) -Tax Caps-Circuit Breakers

STAR - Circuit Breakers -Tax Caps: Current Action

The 2009-2010 budget eliminated the STAR rebate program, as recommended by the League, at an annual savings of $1.8 billion.

Over the past two years, many bills have been introduced to expand the New York State circuit breaker in accordance with League recommendations.  However, none of the bills have proposed replacement of the STAR programs with the enhanced circuit breaker, as recommended by the League.  For a list of recently-introduced Circuit Breaker Bills and history of each, prepared by the Fiscal Policy Institute.

real property taxation: League Position

Charter Schools

Charter Schools: league position

Written Charter School Materials (League)

archived materials

Contact the League Office or call the state the League office at 518-465-4162.

  • Symposium at Marist College: Financing Education in New York State (DVD) (2005)  This discussion was taped  for our consensus study.  It contains a good explanation of how New York State funded its schools prior to adoption of the foundation approach to funding education.  Given that the foundation formula has yet to be fully implemented, the information still has some relevance as a discussion of the problems encountered in the finance of education in New York State.

  • Taped Interview with E.J. McMahon of the Manhattan Institute and Frank Mauro of the Fiscal Policy Institute (CD)  (2006)  This is a comprehensive discussion of the wisdom of the STAR program, as discussed by both  liberal and  conservative commentators.