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Realtors get behind governor's version of tax cap

With only four weeks left in the current legislative session, the issue of a tax cap is being pitted against marriage equality and ethics reform. Despite competing priorities, Kelly said recent polls show that a tax cap remains on top for most residents.

On May 19, a Siena College Poll revealed that 71 percent of New Yorkers hold a tax cap as a higher priority over the other three issues. Ethics reform came in second.

Miguel Berger, vice president of NYSAR for the Capital Region and president of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, said he often hears the complaint that people can't afford their homes. He said the problem comes from the fact that the state has been paying "with an open checkbook," and a property tax cap is a way to curb that spending.

"How is this place going to look in 10 years?" he said of New York. "How is the landscape of the housing market going to look in 10 years if people can't afford it?"

Lawmakers, educators weigh in

Assemblyman Bob Reilly, D-Newtonville, said he realizes the assembly has not been fully supportive of the property tax cap legislation. He said the bill is currently in negotiations, with Cuomo and Sen. Dean Skelos, R-Rockville Centre, willing to give it a second look. But Reilly said the important discussion is not the three legislative pieces Cuomo has been pushing, but the negotiation between the state workers' unions and Cuomo.

"That's going to set the stage for pension benefits, wages and health benefits in the future," he said. "When you look at school districts and local governments, the largest expense is pensions and health care. Those are the areas that have to be addressed."

He said that he would support a tax cap that sunsets in two or three years.

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