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New state tax cap steers school voting

Suburban residents will make history Tuesday as they cast votes on school budgets created under New York State's tax cap regulations.

In an effort to slow the state's runaway taxes –amongthe highest in the nation – the state's tax cap legislation does not prohibit tax increases, but it does require budgets with tax levies above the cap to be approved by 60 percent of district voters.

School boards in Erie and Niagara counties have proposed budgets with average tax levy increases of 2.5 percent, which is down from an average 3.7 percent increase from this year, a Buffalo News analysis found.

Information on the tax cap and its ramifications, as well as a look at spending per pupil and enrollment for districts in the two counties, can be found in a special report, "Your Schools, Your Vote," in today's Buffalo News. In addition, there is a comparison of taxes on a house with a market value of $100,000 showing a wide disparity in rates.

You also will find in the special section information on all the propositions and candidates running in the 38 school districts in Erie and Niagara counties.

– Barbara O'Brien