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Balancing Educational Excellence with Tax Relief


The Rockefeller Institute of Government, 411 State Street, Albany
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Co-Sponsored by the Rockefeller Institute of Government and the New York State Association of School Business Officials (NYSASBO).

Please RSVP by September 26th by contacting Michele Charbonneau at the Rockefeller Institute at (518) 443-5258 or by e-mail at michele.charbonneau@rockinst.suny.edu.

Many states, including New York, have put in place property tax caps to limit the growth of local revenues for education. What is the impact on funding equity and the ability of school districts to achieve education goals such as providing a sound basic education to all students or meeting challenging new state learning standards to educate students for success in college and careers? Can states provide tax relief and support the educational system to meet challenging learning standards?

In this forum, experts on education and tax relief from other states (including Massachusetts, New Jersey and Wisconsin) will assess practices for achieving student and taxpayer equity in order to consider opportunities for New York State. The panel will present new information from a conference on “The Property Tax and Financing of K-12 Education” sponsored by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and the subject of a special issue of the Journal of Education Finance and Policy.

Questions to be considered include:

  • What are the implications of the Great Recession for school revenues?
  • What has been the impact of different levels of voter approval for school district budgets that exceed a specified levy or spending limit?
  • How have states achieved both taxpayer and student equity in the use of state funds for tax relief?
  • Getting the level of the tax cap right — what are other states doing?
  • What are the consequences of linking the tax cap to cost saving initiatives or other conditions?
  • What is the effectiveness of various tax relief initiatives (e.g., Tax Cap versus the tax relief circuit breaker)?
  • Tax relief and student performance — how can New York State achieve educational adequacy in a tax cap environment?
  • What is the ideal relationship between tax relief and state school aid?
The panel will be moderated by Casey Seiler of the Times Union and will feature:

  • Luc Schuster, Deputy Director, Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center
  • Andrew Reschovsky, Fellow, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Cambridge, Massachusetts and Professor Emeritus of Public Affairs and Applied Economics, La Follette School of Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin - Madison;
  • Deborah H. Cunningham, Director of Education and Research, New York State Association of School Business Officials; and
  • Gordon MacInnes, President, New Jersey Policy Perspective.