Property Tax Cap Moves Forward in New York
May 24, 2011
Property taxes in New York have been a hot-button issue for some time, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo has made enacting a property tax cap one of his top three legislative priorities. The Republican-controlled state Senate passed a property tax cap bill in January, but the Democratic-led Assembly has declined to take on the issue until this morning, when Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver proposed a 2 percent property tax cap, with similar provisions to Gov. Cuomo’s.
The speaker’s plan would exempt pension payments over 2 percent from the previous year and allow a carryover of as much as 1.5 percent when a prior year’s levy was below that years’ limit. Those proposals, along with the sunset provision, weren’t included in the version the Republican-controlled Senate passed in January, said Scott Reif, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos of Long Island.
“We’re reviewing all the specifics of the bill and we’ll formally conference it with our members later today,” Reif said by telephone from Albany. “We view this as a positive development. It appears that we’re moving in the right direction.”
As Tax Foundation analyst Nick Kasprak pointed out in his latest study, “New York, New Jersey Lead Nation in Property Tax Burden,” the Empire State overwhelmingly dominates the list of highest tax counties. When calculated as a percentage of median home value over the past five years, all of the top 15 counties in the country for property tax burdens are in New York. Property owners looking for relief will have another few weeks to see how the cap legislation works out – the plan from both the Governor and the Assembly leadership is to pass a bill by the end of the current session on June 20th.