Gov. Andrew Cuomo couldn’t be more pleased with the results of the property-tax cap, so far, with 92 percent of schools proposing to stay under the cap, he told Gannett’s Albany Bureau.
Cuomo said the cap is producing better results than he imagined. He made controlling property taxes a top issue when he took office in January 2011 because New York has among the highest taxes in the nation.
“It’s great,” Cuomo said in an interview Thursday in his office. “It’s worked better than I would have hoped.”
But school districts say the tax cap is forcing them to lay off teachers and cut programs. They say the tax cap comes after schools dealt with several years of either frozen aid or cuts.
This year, schools are getting a 4 percent increase in state aid, or about $805 million more. The state’s teachers union says the increase is still about $1.1 billion less than schools received in fiscal 2008-09.
“This year, the cap is being used as (a) hammer to force school districts to increase class sizes, lay off teachers, slash programs — or all three,” said Carl Korn, spokesman for the New York State United Teachers union. “Students — and educational quality — are suffering, and many parents are already questioning whether the tax cap is worth it.”
Here’s some video of Cuomo on Thursday talking at a news conference about the tax cap.