Budget planning for local school districts and municipal governments got that much tougher when the guidelines released by New York State comptroller's office mandated a 1.66 tax levy cap for 2014. The state's mandated cap can be no higher than two percent, but it can be lower if the consumer price index falls below two.
"They don't have any control of where it is set. It is a formula written into the law," said Orangetown Supervisor Andy Stewart. "Our duty and our goal is to stay within the tax cap."
Stewart pointed out that that Orangetown's 2013 budget was at that level. The average tax levy increase for residents was 1.66 percent.
"We just have to do what we do," Stewart said. "Go out and leave no stone unturned."
Pearl River School District Director of Operations Quinton Van Wynen estimated that the lower tax levy cap would leave the district with approximately $200,000 less in revenue. Though the current budget runs through June of 2014, the lower cap would not be an issue until the 2014-15 school budget.
"It will have an impact on next year's planning," Van Wynen said. "It will push people to use more reserves or make cuts. (In Pearl River), something else will have to be cut."