State Senate Republicans today issued a "Blueprint for a Stronger New York" that combines a few solid big-picture tax reduction priorities with more of the wasteful "tax relief" gimmickry that's become a standard feature of the Senate GOP tax policy agenda in recent years.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is ending the year on a strong pro-taxpayer note, vetoing union-backed legislation that would have blocked the Nassau County Interim Finance Authority from imposing pay freezes to balance the county budget.
The tax cap effect was on full display in yesterday’s school budget voting.
School budgets were approved at a record-high rate of 99.3 percent, adding to evidence that districts can live within a property tax cap set at either 2 percent or the prior year’s average rate of inflation, whichever is less.
Nearly half of the 669 school districts seeking voter approval for budgets on Tuesday, May 16 are presenting spending plans that call for increasing property taxes as high as the 2011 property tax cap law allows, according to an analysis released today by the Empire Center for Public Policy.
A mandated state takeover of local Medicaid costs, added to the House GOP health bill by U.S. Reps. Chris Collins and John Faso, promises relief for property taxpayers across New York. However, some counties stand to save more than others.
The Empire Center has updated its June report that ranked 2014 property taxes with 2015 data recently released by the state comptroller's office.
With just three work days remaining in the legislative session, a number of bills that would loosen the property-tax cap await consideration in both houses. The pending legislative efforts range from small modifications to the cap formula to allow more spending without triggering the cap’s supermajority requirement, to doing away with the supermajority requirement altogether.
Residents of the small Western New York village of Sloan had the highest effective property tax rate in New York, paying $64.46 per $1,000 of home value during 2014, according to the newest edition of Benchmarking NY, the Empire Center’s annual examination of local property taxes.
Twenty-nine of the 37 districts that sought to override the property tax cap were successful in yesterday’s school budget votes, as the majority of districts elected to limit their tax increases to the cap itself.
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has officially confirmed what federal inflation statistics were already telegraphing: New York's statutory cap on local school property tax levies will be just a hair above zero for 2016-17 school year budgets, which will be submitted for voter approval in May.
The starting point for computing next year's local property tax cap in most of New York State will be less than 1 percent—and so state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is warning local governments "brace for ... [lower] growth in property tax revenues."
DiNapoli's tone clearly implies that a lower tax cap is a negative. But most property owners will no doubt see it another way.
Don't look now, but given current inflation trends, next year's school property tax cap may be ... zero!
That's the message of a statement released last week by the Educational Conference Board (ECB), a coalition of groups representing public school administrators, school boards and—last but hardly least—the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) labor union.
The ECB's "warning" was meant as an inside-the-Albany-bubble scare tactic, but for most New Yorkers, it's good news: further confirmation that the tax cap is working exactly as intended.