Cuomo going wobbly on tax cap? by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

Today's Buffalo News reports that Gov. Cuomo is signaling a willingness to water down his property tax cap proposal. Most alarmingly, the News says Cuomo "privately told lawmakers this week that the list of expenses exempt from any limit probably will...

The Case for a Cap by E.J. McMahon | | Reports

A broad, tight cap on local property taxes is a central element of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s agenda for making New York State more affordable and competitive. The governor’s tax cap has passed in the state Senate with strong bipartisan support. Its fate will ultimately be decided in the state Assembly.

The 60% red herring by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

Gov. Cuomo's proposed 2 percent property tax cap could only be overridden by a super-majority of more than 60 percent of school district voters. Would this pose an insurmountable obstacle to supporters of higher taxes, starving schools of desperately needed funding? Cap opponents such as New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) imply as much, asserting in recent Senate testimony that the 60 percent override threshold...

School budgets survive by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

Voters in New York's suburban, rural and smaller city school districts approved 92 percent of proposed school budgets yesterday, according to the New York State School Boards Association. This is above the historical average approval rate of 83 percent...

Jersey’s leaky property tax cap | NY Torch

New Jersey imposed a 4 percent cap on local property tax increases a year before Governor David Paterson endorsed the Suozzi Commission's call for a school property tax cap in New York. But unlike Paterson's original proposal, the cap signed into law by New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine in 2007 contained a number of loopholes, including a clause exempting the cost of health insurance benefits.

More STAR in New York’s Future? by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

With school property taxes continuing to rise across New York State, Albany's leading Republicans are pushing for a major expansion of the STAR (School Tax Relief) program in the next state budget. But more STAR spending will do nothing to reduce New York's oppressive state and local tax burden. Instead, it will promote faster growth in school spending and property tax levies unless it is tied to a firm cap on school district budgets or taxes.