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School bond and tax elections in New York

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School bonds
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Portal:School Bond and Tax Elections
Bond elections
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School bond and tax elections in New York happen under two circumstances:
  • To exceed the state debt limit protected by the New York Constitution
  • To issue new bonds and or bond taxes.

Laws affecting school finance

New York bond issue law

New York State requires an election for all school districts when wanting to issue new bonds or bond taxes in which the voters of the district vote in a annual or special district meeting. Bonds can be used for:

  • Additions, alterations, repairs or improvements, to property belonging to the school district.
  • For altering and equipping libraries.
  • To use any former school building belonging to the district, to purchase of other another sites or building, or for a change of sites, or to change sites for agricultural, athletic, playground, or social center purposes.
  • To erect new buildings.
  • To build a bus garage.
  • To buy apparatus, implements, or fixtures.
  • To pay the wages of teachers, and the necessary expenses of the school,
  • To pay any court ordered judgment in a federal or state court.
  • Refunding outstanding bonded indebtedness.[1] The bond election requirement only applies to school districts with a population less than 125,000.[2]

New York State debt limit

The New York State Constitution has a protected debt limit for all school districts including those in New York City. Any district that is based in a population of 120,000 or less in the most recent federal census is required to have a ballot question to exceed the five percentum debt limit.[3]

In other portions of New York State, any city over 125,000 is limited to nine percentum, while New York City is limited to ten percent for city purposes. Nassau County has a ten percentum debt limit at the county limit while municipalities in Nassau County are limited to seven percent. Elections are not required for any city over 125,000, New York City, and Nassau County because the New York State Constitution forbids any school district from exceeding their debt limits and asking the voters to approve increases in debt limits.[4]

Conduct of the bond election, limitations, rules

Authority conducting elections

The respective County Board of Elections is responsible for conducting all elections within the laws set by the New York Legislature.[5]

Election dates

Elections can be held involving the state debt limit during a special or general election which is the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.[4] Elections involving bond issues must be held during an annual or special school meeting.[1]

Needed majority

A three-fifths (60%) super-majority vote is required to approve a election involving the constitutionally protected debt limit.[4] A simple majority vote is required to pass a bond issue.

Special elections

There are no restrictions on when special elections can be held. Under New York law, two weeks public notice is required for conducting special elections.[6]

Wording of measures

All ballot proposals in New York must be in a separate section of the official ballot. All proposals must be listed on the ballot as "Proposal one, an amendment; proposal two, a proposition; proposal three, a question, etc." Also, the ballot proposal must have two check boxes, one yes, and one with no with the squares being one half inch.[7]

Required notice of bond election

Thirty six days notice is required under New York law for the actual ballot question and summary to be published by the respective County Board of Elections.[8]

See also

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References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "New York State Legislature" New York State Constitution(Referenced Statute 416-1)
  2. "New York State Legislature" New York State Constitution(Referenced Statute 416-7)
  3. "New York State Legislature" New York State Constitution(Referenced Section Article VII, Section 4(a-g))
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "New York State Legislature" New York State Constitution(Referenced Section, Article VII, Section 4(h))
  5. "New York Legislature" New York Election Law(Referenced Section 3-200(1) New York Code)
  6. "New York Legislature" New York Election Law(Referenced Section 4-120-1 New York Statutes)
  7. "New York Legislature" New York Election Law(Referenced Section 7-110 New York Statutes)
  8. "New York Legislature" New York Election Law(Referenced Section 4-108(b) New York Code)