Senator Kaplan and Westbury School Board Announce First Property Tax Cut in Decades

Originally published in LongIsland.com on April 29, 2021.

Senator Kaplan said "For too long, our public schools on Long Island had been chronically underfunded."

(L to R): Westbury Taxpayers Ren Zelaya and Isabella Lomax, NYS Senator Anna M. Kaplan, Westbury School Board President Robert Troiano, NYS Assemblymember Charles Lavine. (L to R): Westbury Taxpayers Ren Zelaya and Isabella Lomax, NYS Senator Anna M. Kaplan, Westbury School Board President Robert Troiano, NYS Assemblymember Charles Lavine.

Senator Anna M. Kaplan (D-North Hills) joined Assemblymember Charles Lavine (D-Glen Cove), Westbury School Board President Robert Troiano and the Westbury School Board to announce that the Westbury Schools tax levy would be cut for the first time in decades thanks to record new funding in the New York State Budget.

Earlier this year, the Westbury School Board filed a preliminary tax levy with the New York State Comptroller which would have raised school taxes for Westbury homeowners by 2.96%, a total tax hike of $2,445,802. Following the enactment of the 2021-2022 New York State Budget, in which Westbury Schools received an additional $10,610,874, with a commitment for even greater aid increases in the next three years, the School Board made the decision to cancel the tax increase, and instead cut property taxes by .5%, saving the taxpayers $2,855,992, and delivering the first property tax reduction the Westbury community has seen in many decades.

Because of the State's commitment to continue increasing the State's share of school funding over the coming years, thereby reducing the burden on local taxpayers on Long Island, the Westbury School Board is planning an ongoing tax reduction program with further tax cuts planned for next year and beyond, in order to give relief to overburdened taxpayers, and keep the dream of homeownership attainable for Westbury families.

Senator Anna M. Kaplan said "For too long, our public schools on Long Island had been chronically underfunded, leading to educational disparities in some communities, and a constant need for property tax hikes to make up the shortfall. Since becoming a Senator, I've fought tirelessly to deliver the resources that our public schools need to give every child in our community a world-class education, and the opportunity for a bright and successful future, without reaching into the pockets of hard-working taxpayers. With the passage of this year's State budget, I'm proud to have delivered a dramatic increase in funding for our local schools, so that our kids can finally get the educational resources they deserve, and so that our local taxpayers can finally get the relief they sorely need. I applaud Westbury School Board President Robert Troiano and then entire Westbury School Board for their commitment to use these new resources to give our kids the best of the best, while giving Westbury taxpayers their first tax cut in decades."

Assemblymember Charles Lavine said "I am pleased additional funding in the state budget was able to result in a decrease in school taxes for the hardworking people of Westbury. I am confident that the leadership in the Westbury school district will maximize services and continue to provide students with the highest quality education"

Westbury School Board President Robert Troiano said "The top priority of the Westbury Board of Education will always be providing the children of Westbury with the best educational opportunity possible, but we also owe a duty to the taxpayers who elected us as their representatives to keep property taxes at a reasonable level so that our community stays affordable. Thanks to Senator Kaplan's efforts to deliver record increases in state funding for our schools, Westbury is finally in a position to provide the very best for our kids, while giving much needed tax relief to the hard-working residents of our community. I applaud Senator Kaplan and her partner Assemblymember Chuck Lavine for their efforts to deliver for our schools while alleviating the burden on Long Island families."