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Forum focuses on 2% tax increase cap

A forum in the South Huntington school district to educate the public about the state’s new 2 percent cap on property tax levy increases left several attendees more informed but a little nervous.

“It’s a little gloomy and scary,” said Robert Ragone, a 17-year district resident with a daughter in the school system. “But there was a lot of good information. I learned how the tax levy works and how that impacts the cap.”

Gary Bixhorn, chief operating officer of Eastern Suffolk Board of Cooperative Educational Services, the guest speaker at Wednesday night’s forum, offered an explanation of some of the ins and outs of the new cap.

“We’re trying to raise awareness of the potential impact of the cap,” Bixhorn said. “I think there’s a concern on the part of many of the districts that they’re out there alone and their issues are unique. We’re trying raise the comfort level in individual districts to talk about the issues the cap is going to generate.”

Districts across Long Island are beginning to grapple with the constraints of the cap as the budget season heats up. Districts have to adopt by late April a budget proposal to put before voters; proposed budgets will face a public vote in May.

The forum was sponsored by the South Huntington PTA Council.


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