School Districts that have struggled to keep their taxes below the two percent New York State tax levy cap may be finding an even greater challenge this year.

Kristine Bellino/WIBX News

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says property tax levy growth for school districts will be capped at 1.81% for the 2020-2021 fiscal year, down from the two percent cap for each of the two previous years.

School districts are required to put together budgets that hold the tax levy growth below the state-mandated levels or have to get a 60% voter approval of a spending plan with a greater tax levy.

The 1.81% cap affects the calculations for 676 school districts and 10 cities with fiscal years starting July 1.  DiNapoli’s office says that includes the “Big Four” cities of Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers.

DiNapoli says as the levy growth dips below two percent, school districts and municipal officials “need to be fiscally cautious and examine where they can limit spending to stay under the cap.”