Residents in this North Fork school district won’t be getting tax rebates

12/10/2015 11:30 AM |

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It’s about that time of year when people can expect to see tax rebate checks in their mailboxes as part of the state’s program. For most residents on the North Fork, those checks are coming.

But residents in the New Suffolk Common School District won’t be getting their rebates this year.

Homeowners won’t receive a rebate of their 2015-2016 school year tax increase since the district failed to meet one of the program requirements, a representative at the Department of Taxation and Finance confirmed Wednesday.

In order to receive the rebate through the state’s Property Tax Freeze Credit  — a state Department of Taxation and Finance program designed to offset property tax increases over the last two years — a district had to meet two guidelines: stay under the tax levy cap and have a cost-savings plan approved by the state.

New Suffolk failed to meet that second requirement, a representative from the Department of Taxation and Finance said. School board president Tony Dill blamed a shuffle in staffing for the missing plan.

“New Suffolk did not submit an efficiency plan because the couple of co-operative items we have had with neighboring districts were negated by either staff resignations or the unwillingness of those districts to agree to share staff or resources with us,” Mr. Dill said in an email.

The goal of a district’s cost-savings plan is to show how local governments and school districts shared services, consolidated, merged, or became more efficient.

“Given our unique size and limited number of grades, programs, etc., there is actually very little that we can share with surrounding districts that is seen as beneficial to them,” Mr. Dill wrote.

According to information from State Comptroller representative Brian Butry, the district’s tax levy limit was $799,665 and the taxes to be levied this year totaled $789,500, within the state’s tax cap. Had the district submitted an approved plan, it would have qualified residents for the rebate.

Other school districts on Long Island that won’t receive a rebate of their school tax increase include East Meadow and Quogue, according to a Newsday article. East Meadow both pierced the tax cap and didn’t have an approved cost-savings plan, while Quogue — like New Suffolk — stayed within the tax cap, but didn’t have an approved plan.

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Photo Caption: New Suffolk School (Credit: File).

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