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Fiscally Eligible Municipalities for Board Services and Assistance

A “fiscally eligible municipality” shall mean any county, city, excluding a city with a population greater than one million, town, or village that the board, on a case by case basis, determines would benefit from the services and assistance which the board has legal authority to offer. In evaluating whether a municipality is a fiscally eligible municipality, the board shall consider the average full value property tax rate of such public employer and the average fund balance percentage of such public employer and such other criteria as the board deems relevant.

Local Finance Law §160.05 (2)

A Fiscally Eligible Municipality is any county, city (except New York City), town, or village that the Board determines would benefit from its services and assistance. In evaluating whether a municipality is a Fiscally Eligible Municipality for Board services and assistance, the Board is to consider the average full value property tax rate, the average fund balance percentage, and any other criteria that the Board deems relevant.

If a municipality has an average full value property tax rate greater than the average full value property tax rate of 75 percent of the other municipalities or if a municipality has an average fund balance percentage below five percent, it is automatically considered a Fiscally Eligible Municipality for Board services and assistance.

A list of all municipalities (PDF), their average full value property tax rate as calculated by the State Comptroller, their average fund balance percentage as calculated by the State Comptroller, and whether they are automatically considered a Fiscally Eligible Municipality for Board services and assistance as of when the State Comptroller calculated this information is available.

No municipality can be deemed a Fiscally Eligible Municipality for Board services and assistance unless it has fully reported to the State Comptroller the information necessary to calculate its average full value property tax rate and its average fund balance percentage. A list of municipalities that had not reported this information (PDF) as of when the average full value property tax rates and the average fund balance percentages were calculated by the State Comptroller is available.

If a municipality subsequently reports the information necessary to calculate its average full value property tax rate and its average fund balance percentage to the State Comptroller and the State Comptroller confirms to the Board that it received such information, the Board could then consider if that municipality should be deemed a Fiscally Eligible Municipality for Board services and assistance, provided that such municipality submits additional information relevant to the Board rendering a decision.

Average Full Value Property Tax Rate

The average full value property tax rate measures how high property taxes are in a given municipality relative to the municipality’s taxable property value. This is an indicator of the property tax burden facing a municipality’s taxpayers – the higher the rate, the higher the burden.

It is calculated for each municipality by dividing the amount of property taxes levied by the full value of taxable real estate for each of the last five years. These five full value property tax rates are then averaged to determine the average full value property tax rate.

Average Full Value Property Tax Rate Calculation Example
2013 Full Value Property Tax Rate = 2013 Property Taxes Levied ÷ 2013 Full Value of Taxable Real Estate
= $1,061,208  ÷ $112,550,881
= .0094287 or $9.4287 per $1,000
 
2012 Full Value Property Tax Rate = 2012 Property Taxes Levied ÷ 2012 Full Value of Taxable Real Estate
= $1,040,400 ÷ $109,272,700
= .0095211 or $9.5211 per $1,000
 
2011 Full Value Property Tax Rate = 2011 Property Taxes Levied ÷ 2011 Full Value of Taxable Real Estate
= $1,040,400 ÷ $106,090,000
= .0098068 or $9.8068 per $1,000
 
2010 Full Value Property Tax Rate = 2010 Property Taxes Levied ÷ 2010 Full Value of Taxable Real Estate
= $1,020,000 ÷ $103,000,000
= .0099029 or $9.9029 per $1,000
 
2009 Full Value Property Tax Rate = 2009 Property Taxes Levied ÷ 2009 Full Value of Taxable Real Estate
= $1,000,000 ÷ $100,000,000
= .0100000 or $10.0000 per $1,000
 
Average Full Value Property Tax Rate = (2013 Full Value Property Tax Rate + 2012 Full Value Property Tax Rate + 2011 Full Value Property Tax Rate + 2010 Full Value Property Tax Rate + 2009 Full Value Property Tax Rate) ÷ 5
= (.0094287 + .0095211 + .0098068 + .0099029 + .0100000) ÷ 5
= .0097319 or $9.7319 per $1,000

If the average full value property tax rate is greater than the average full value property tax rate of 75 percent of the other municipalities, the Board must find that the municipality is a Fiscally Eligible Municipality for Board services and assistance.

If a municipality has not reported to the State Comptroller the information necessary to calculate the average full value property tax rate, the Board would not be able to deem the municipality a Fiscally Eligible Municipality for Board services and assistance unless it received written confirmation from the Comptroller that the information has since been received.

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Average Fund Balance Percentage

The average fund balance percentage measures how much a municipality has remaining in its General Fund relative to how much it spends from its General Fund over the past five years. This is an indicator of a municipality’s ability to pay for unexpected costs or pay for increased costs without raising taxes.

It is calculated for each municipality by dividing the total fund balance in the General Fund by the total expenditures from the General Fund for each of the last five years. These five fund balance percentages are then averaged to determine the average fund balance percentage.

Average Fund Balance Percentage Calculation Example:
2013 Fund Balance Percentage = 2013 General Fund Fund Balance ÷ 2013 General Fund Expenditures
= $865,000 ÷ $22,510,176
= 3.84%
 
2012 Fund Balance Percentage = 2012 General Fund Fund Balance ÷ 2012 General Fund Expenditures
= $800,000 ÷ $21,854,540
= 3.66%
 
2011 Fund Balance Percentage = 2011 General Fund Fund Balance ÷ 2011 General Fund Expenditures
= $850,000 ÷ $21,218,000
= 4.01%
 
2010 Fund Balance Percentage = 2010 General Fund Fund Balance ÷ 2010 General Fund Expenditures
= $800,000 ÷ $20,600,000
= 3.88%
 
2009 Fund Balance Percentage = 2009 General Fund Fund Balance ÷ 2009 General Fund Expenditures
= $1,000,000 ÷ $20,000,000
= 5.00%
 
Average Fund Balance Percentage = (2013 Fund Balance Percentage + 2012 Fund Balance Percentage + 2011 Fund Balance Percentage + 2010 Fund Balance Percentage + 2009 Fund Balance Percentage) ÷ 5
= (3.84% + 3.66% + 4.01% + 3.88% + 5.00%) ÷ 5
= 4.08%

If the average fund balance percentage is less than five percent, the Board must find that the municipality is a Fiscally Eligible Municipality for Board services and assistance.

If a municipality has not reported to the State Comptroller the information necessary to calculate the average fund balance percentage, the Board would not be able to deem the municipality a Fiscally Eligible Municipality for Board services and assistance unless it received written confirmation from the Comptroller that the information has since been received.

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Municipalities Not Automatically Fiscally Eligible

In addition to municipalities that are automatically Fiscally Eligible for Board services and assistance because of their average full value property tax rate or their average fund balance percentage, the Board may find additional municipalities to be Fiscally Eligible for Board services and assistance if it determines that they would benefit from its services and assistance. This determination will be on a case by case basis using available information.

If a municipality is not automatically Fiscally Eligible for Board services and assistance but would like to be considered one for a Comprehensive Review or a Binding Arbitration Determination by the Board, the municipality should make a request for a Comprehensive Review or Binding Arbitration Determination and include documentation on why it should be considered Fiscally Eligible for Board services and assistance.

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