New York’s property tax cap has survived a legal challenge from the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) for the second time in six months.
The union’s claim was essentially a rerun of its original suit, which was dismissed by Justice Patrick McGrath in September.
This time around, in a March 16 ruling reported by some news outlets late yesterday, McGrath upheld the cap as incorporated in a conditional state income tax rebate —misleadingly labeled a “tax freeze credit”—enacted by the Legislature last year as part of the fiscal 2015 budget.
The money graf from McGrath’s latest decision:
In the present action, there is little doubt that the credit is designed to influence voters to stay within the cap. However, this does not render the law unconstitutional.
The tax cap has a June 2016 sunset date but its ultimate fate is currently tied to New York City rent control laws, which expire this June. Governor Cuomo has promised to seek permanent enactment of the cap, and Senate Republicans sought to do the same as part of their one-house budget proposal. There’s no indication of whether they are actually fighting in budget negotiations to make it part of a final budget deal.