E.J. McMahon, president of the Empire Center for Public Policy, presented testimony to the Joint Legislative Budget hearing on taxes today in which he pointed to the property tax cap as the best mechanism to help relieve New York’s highest-in-the-nation property tax burden.

“The property tax cap is clearly doing its job of holding down local tax levy increases, especially at the school district level,” McMahon said. “The best way to help all local property taxpayers, homeowners and businesses alike, is to permanently enact the property tax cap.”

His testimony noted that New York raised taxes and fees by more than $7 billion statewide in 2009 and 2010, and another $1.8 billion in taxes and fees were imposed downstate. Though some tax cuts, many temporary, have been enacted since 2011, McMahon said the effective income tax rate today is “well above the average level between 2002 and 2008.”

While Governor Cuomo has proposed a “circuit breaker” style credit, McMahon’s testimony outlined the proposed credit’s flaws, and concluded:

Both STAR and the proposed property tax credit are subsidies designed to treat a symptom rather than dealing with the underlying disease. You will be offering $1.7 billion in Band Aids on top of $3.1 billion worth of aspirin.

McMahon also recommended the Legislature consider:

  • expanding upon reforms to the state’s Estate Tax by eliminating the confiscatory “cliff;”
  • permanently enacting across-the-board temporary cuts to personal income taxes; and
  • adopting a schedule to phase out the temporary tax increase on the highest-income individuals and businesses.

You may also like

NY Schools Plan To Spend Nearly $32K Per Student 

New York school districts holding budget referendums next week plan to spend an average of $31,929 per student, according to a new analysis from the Empire Center. Read More

State Budget Proposal Doubles Down on Reckless Spending, Empire Center Says

After Governor Hochul’s budget unveiling this afternoon, Empire Center experts offered their reactions to the latest framework. Read More

Empire Center Issues State Policy Guide 

The Empire Center for Public Policy has released a policy guide and briefing book focused on the most important issues confronting New York. Read More

$68 Million in DASNY Pork Projects Range from Recreation to Legislative Drafting

A total of $68 million in grant awards was steered to 276 local projects between November 2021 and March 2022 by the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York Read More

Legislative Spending Unevenly Divided Among Members

Spending by state lawmakers on office personnel and administrative costs varies widely, with some paying out nearly twice as much as others Read More

State of the State Reactions: Will This Bring New Yorkers Back?

The Empire Center for Public Policy offered the following reactions to Governor Hochul’s first State of the State address. Read More

New York State Owes Nearly $360 Billion in Retiree Health Care Debt 

New York governments at all levels owe a combined $359.7 billion in debt to pay retired public employees health benefits, according to a new Empire Center report. Read More

Rec and Restroom Facility Projects Among Fresh DASNY Pork

A total of $87 million in new grants were steered to 174 local projects over the past ten months by Governor Cuomo’s State Dormitory Authority (DASNY) Read More