posted on May 24, 2011 17:29
Word has come from Albany late this afternoon that legislative leaders have reached an agreement on a two-percent property tax cap in New York State – a victory for Governor Andrew Cuomo, who campaigned on the promise of holding down property taxes.
Republican Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb of Canandaigua praises the move, and says it should give New Yorkers hope.
"There's been a lot of discussion...a lot of work that's been put into this for many years. And certainly it's just the beginning," Kolb says. "We've got to create jobs by enticing people to keep their business here, and locate their business here. And one of those enticements will be the ability to control rising property taxes."
The measure will reportedly be passed before the end of the 2011 legislative session. It was a focal point of the Cuomo gubernatorial campaign, which received praise from both sides of the aisle.
But local government leaders decried the plan during and after the campaign. Legislators and school officials say the rising cost of state mandates and decreases in state aid leave them only one option to increase revenue: raising taxes. With a state cap on those taxes, leaders worry they'll have to severely cut services to remain solvent.
Kolb addressed that issue in his comments, which was reiterated by Senate Democratic Leader John Sampson.
"We've got some work to do yet: we've got to provide mandate relief to local governments and school districts," said Kolb. "We've got to reduce the cost drivers that affect everyone in this state."
If passed, the legislation would cap property taxes for all businesses and residents at two-percent above current levels.