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A. Thomas Levin Quoted in Newsday, "Great Neck Estates Delays Decision to Exceed State's Property Tax Cap"

Dec 30, 2015Local Government and Land Use

The Great Neck Estates Village Board has delayed a decision on authorizing a property tax levy in excess of the state limit if it becomes necessary.

The proposed law would allow the village to override the state-mandated cap in the 2016 fiscal year, village attorney A. Thomas Levin said. In past years, the village board readily adopted a law to exceed the tax cap, if it became necessary, but this year has reserved its decision for a later date.

Many village boards used to pre-emptively adopt tax cap overrides in case they inadvertently exceeded the cap, Levin said. The law was a protective measure and villages could easily adopt it and then repeal the law if they stay within the tax cap.

However, this is no longer the case for this fiscal year, Levin said.

"The state changed the rules again," he said. "Now if you adopt the override law, even if you don't use it or exceed the cap, you get penalized by the state anyway."

Under the new rules, residents of penalized villages would not receive that portion of the state rebate on property taxes. Villages would also be subject to additional restrictions for the following year by being required to meet the next fiscal year's tax cap and also reduce the budget by the amount exceed the previous year. Levin called the two budget reductions akin to being "punished twice."

The village board will wait until its routine budget process in the spring to make a decision on whether to adopt the override or not, Levin said.