The Senate is debating and is set to pass a property-tax cap that would limit the growth of property taxes by schools and local governments to up to four percent or 120 percent of the inflation rate, whichever is lower.
Republicans are expected to back the Democrats’ measure, which is the same plan put forth by Gov. David Paterson. When Republicans held the Senate majority, they passed a property-tax cap in 2008, and earlier this year, Senate Democrats passed their own tax-cap plan that also included tying taxes to household income.
Here’s a breakdown of the various plans that have been out there as part of Gannett’s property-tax series.
Sen. Jeff Klein, D-Bronx, just spoke on the Senate floor that New York’s proposed cap is tougher than the one New Jersey recently passed, which limits tax increases to 2 percent.
Klein argued that while New York’s cap goes to 4 percent, it is also linked to the consumer price index, which has hovered at less than 2 percent in recent years. Moreover, he said New York’s cap doesn’t include as many exemptions as New Jersey’s cap, such as exemptions for higher medical insurance and pension costs.
The only exemption in New York’s measure would be for capital costs, Klein said.
“Ours is a lot tougher,” Klein said.
Senators put the onus on the state Assembly to now pass the cap, but the Democratic-led Assembly has refused to bring the issue up for a vote. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, has argued that restorations in school aid is a form of property-tax relief.
“It’s now incumbent for the Assembly to follow suit and finally give needed property-tax relief to the residents of New York State,” Klein said.
The state’s high property taxes is a top, if not the top, election issue this year, and Senate Democrats have pushed to have some tax relief this session, even if it’s a one-house bill, as they head home to campaign this fall.
It’s also a top campaign issue in the gubernatorial race, with Attorney General Andrew Cuomo featuring it in his first ads.