Warning: lower tax hikes ahead by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

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.

“Warning”: taxes might not rise by Ken Girardin | | NY Torch

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.

Large majority wants to keep the cap by Ken Girardin | | NY Torch

Almost three-fourths of New Yorkers agree that the property tax cap "has accomplished what was intended" and "should be continued," according to a Siena Research Institute poll released this morning. But support climbs even higher when respondents in New York City—which was not affected by the property tax cap law—are excluded.

Costs Up, Enrollment Down in NY Schools | Press Releases, Reports

Per-pupil spending in the 669 school districts outside New York’s five largest cities will climb next year by 2.5 percent, nearly twice the projected inflation rate, according to an analysis released today by the Empire Center for Public Policy. The analysis indicates that school districts' per-pupil property tax levies will increase by 2.1 percent in 2015-16.

No tax news is good news, for now by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

One of the best things about New York's newly adopted state budget for fiscal 2016 is something that's not in it (yet): a costly new state subsidy of homeowners' local property taxes.

Governor Cuomo's Executive Budget proposal included an income tax credit (of the type also known as a "circuit breaker") that, when fully implemented by 2019, would funnel $1.7 billion a year to about half of the state's homeowners, plus renters.

Breaking bad on property taxes by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

He didn't use the phrase himself, but the property tax credit unveiled yesterday by Governor Andrew Cuomo is of the type commonly known as a "circuit breaker." Like an electrical switch designed to automatically prevent a power overload, a circuit breaker tax credit is supposed to kick in when homeowners' property tax burdens overload their ability to pay.

Cuomo's proposal would not represent a property tax cut but a means-tested state personal income break -- available only to some homeowners, and not available to owners of commercial, industrial or multi-family properties, which pay a hefty share of local taxes.