In addition to the elected offices on the ballot at the upcoming election, there are two ballot proposals that would amend the State Constitution. These can be found on the opposite side of the ballot (except in Nassau County).
While not impacting New York City directly, these proposals are important to our suburban and rural communities. So, in addition to the civic participation we strive for generally, we urge you to vote “yes” on these proposals,
With thanks to nycvotes.org and to the League of Women Voters of NYS, the proposals are described below:
Removal of Small City School Districts From Special Constitutional Debt Limitation
The State Constitution limits how much debt a small city (a city with less than 125,000 people) school district can incur. State law says their debt cannot be greater than five percent of the value of taxable real property; all other school districts’ debt cannot be greater than ten percent. If this proposal passes, small city school districts would have the same debt limit as other school districts.
The proposed amendment to Article 8, section 4 of the Constitution removes the special constitutional debt limitation now placed on small city school districts, so they will be treated the same as all other school districts. Debt limits would be established in state law for all school districts.
Extending Sewage Project Debt Exclusion From Debt Limit
The State Constitution limits the debt counties, cities, towns, and villages can incur. This debt limit has an exception: it does not include debt incurred for sewage treatment and disposal construction projects. The current sewer debt exception expires on January 1, 2024. This amendment extends the sewer debt exception for ten years until January 1, 2034.
The proposed amendment to Article 8, section 5 of the Constitution extends for ten years the authority of counties, cities, towns, and villages to remove from their constitutional limits debt incurred for the construction of sewage facilities.