With four weeks left in the legislative session, the New York State Association of Realtors is making a $750,000 push to get Gov. Andrew Cuomo's version of a property tax cap passed.
The property tax cap debate has been going on for years but has picked up steam in recent months as the state looks for ways to give its residents relief from some of the highest taxes in the country. In February, the New York State Senate passed a bill that would cap property taxes at 2 percent but would allow residents to override the cap with a two-thirds majority vote. With only five weeks left in the legislative session, the Assembly has yet to even bring the bill to the floor, although House Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan has said it will.
Cuomo's People's First tour has been making stops around the state touting his legislative priorities, of which his top three are ethics reform, marriage equality and a property tax cap.
"After the governor and the legislature passed the budget to try to address that large budget gap of $10 billion, the next logical step is the tax cap," said NYSAR Director of Communications Salvatore I. Prividera Jr. "That will force mandate relief, which we do support because the money won't be there. They're going to have to deal with how they provide those services."
Will cap drive mandate relief?
Where the discussion currently stands is what sort of effect the tax cap would have on school districts in the state. Many area school officials have argued that if a cap is passed, coupled with continuing state cuts to education funding, instructional programming will suffer.
As an argument has been made that passing a tax cap before supplying mandate relief would be too painful for schools, but NYSAR Governmental Director Mike Kelly said feeling that pain would drive mandate relief.