Saturday’s New York Times reported that Governor Andrew Cuomo is “likely” to veto a bill allowing school districts to issue 15-year bonds to cover the same rising teacher pension costs that have been partially excluded from a newly enacted property tax cap. However, the article contained no direct quotations from anyone in the governor’s office. It would be more reassuring if the governor himself had spoken out on this issue.
The pension bonding bill has cast a cloud on the cap, which was signed into law by the governor Friday night soon after it passed the Senate and Assembly, part of a package including renewed rent control laws and some mandate relief provisions. The cap gives New York taxpayers a potentially powerful new tool for imposing greater fiscal discipline on school districts, in particular. My op-ed in Saturday’s New York Post explains how and why the pension bond bill would make a mockery of this objective. The Post editorialized on the same subject, urging a veto.