Gov. David Paterson emerged after a closed-door meeting with legislative leaders this afternoon and said he is proposing a property-tax cap on local governments, but one that excludes schools.
Paterson admitted that 65 percent of homeowners’ tax bills are from school taxes, but indicated that he’s trying to seek some compromise for property-tax relief this year. His proposal would limit property taxes on local governments to 3 percent a year or 120 percent of the rate of inflation.
Paterson said he has sought a property-tax cap on all local governments and schools, but the schools piece continues to face resistance in the Legislature. Aides later said the governor plans to introduce the measure as a bill for the Legislature to consider.
“I was just trying to find, is there a way to get anything capped in terms of local governments and people who have to pay taxes, and this was my latest effort,” Paterson told reporters.
He said he was not “particularly optimistic about the way it went over” with legislative leaders, but he supports it compared to do nothing.
“I would like to see property-tax relief for the overwhelming number of citizens in this state who’ve indicated that they need it and they want it,” Paterson said. “I was looking for a compromise and in this case, I don’t think we have gotten one, but we’ll keep trying.”
Meanwhile, Paterson dismissed any notion that he plans to back away from his pledge to put the remaining pieces of the budget into next week’s extender on Monday.
“Let me just say, that budget is going to get passed on Monday,” Paterson said. “And I’ve heard people talking about being here July 4th. If they’d like to be here July 4th, they can come by the mansion. We have a nice fireworks demonstration every year, they can come and watch it, but there will be no discussion of budget on July 4th, because it would already been addressed on June 28th.”
Here’s the governor discussing his property-tax cap proposal.
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