At the November 3, 2010 of the Levittown Board of Education Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Herman Sirois, reported the results of a comprehensive analysis of school district finances covering the entire history of the Levittown school district. The report analyzed annual tax levy increases for each of four fifteen-year periods during the last sixty years. In presenting the analysis, Dr. Sirois noted that "the results of this study are interesting, important to our future planning, and challenge some mistaken assumptions about school taxes in Levittown."
Data covering four time periods, 1950 to 1965, 1965 to 1980, 1980 to 1995, and 1995 to the present revealed that annual school tax increases in the past fifteen years (1995-2010) have been at the lowest levels than in any other period in the history of the school district, averaging over ten percent less per year than in the prior fifteen-year period from 1980-1995, and over twenty percent lower than the fifteen years preceding that (1965-1980). The average annual school tax levy increases for each period were as follows: 18.0% from 1950 to 1965; 7.9% from 1965 to 1980; 7.0% from 1980 to 1995; and 6.2% from 1995 to 2010.
Dr. Sirois credited the recent lower annual tax levy increases to the Board of Education's continued implementation of the District's multi-year budget planning process over the past fifteen years. The District's multi-year budget strategies have enabled the Board to bring traditionally erratic tax levy increases under control, eliminating the pattern of unpredictable fluctuations in annual school tax levy increases that had frustrated District residents prior to 1995.
Dr. Sirois, also, noted that during the last fifteen years annual tax levy increases have been aligned with actual annual expenditure increases, also, for the first time in the history of the school district. Traditionally, and particularly during the thirty years from 1965 through 1995, due to the lack of long-range financial planning, Levittown Boards of Education were forced to raise annual tax levies at almost twice the rates of actual expenditure increases. Again, due to the District's strategic financial planning since 1995, Levittown Boards of Education have been able to keep annual tax levy increases at the same, and lower, levels as actual expenditures.
The analysis concluded with a brief summary of the benefits that the combination of dramatic improvements in student achievement and control of school taxes have had on the Levittown community. Dr. Sirois pointed out that the average annual school taxes paid by Levittown homeowners is considerably below the average for both Nassau County and neighboring school districts. Also, the traditional gap between home equity in Levittown and neighboring school districts reduced by half since 1992.
Dr. Sirois concluded by citing both New York State and District auditors' praises of the Levittown School District's current financial position, and urging continued support for the principles of multi-year budget planning, and a recommitment to the vision of continuous progress in student academic standards.