Senate advances property tax cap, mandate relief


Albany, N.Y. – The New York State Senate on Monday approved legislation capping the growth of school property taxes at 2 percent or the Consumer Price Index, whichever is less.  State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer voted for the act, Senate bill 2706.

“One of the reasons residents continue to leave New York State is high property taxes,” said Senator Ranzenhofer. “Homeowners are sick and tired of paying the highest property taxes in the nation – especially after the STAR rebate check program was eliminated.  A cap prevents property taxes levied by school districts and towns from sky-rocketing at current levels.”

Approval by sixty percent of the residents would be required for a school district’s budget to increase the tax levy beyond the cap.  The legislation also excludes a school district’s local share of capital expenditures from the cap.  In addition, this legislation also applies two percent cap to property taxes levied by city, town and village governments.

Governor Andrew Cuomo introduced the legislation.  Once enacted, the law would be effective for the 2012-2013 school year.  Forty-three States have already enacted a cap on property taxes.

The State Senate also approved a measure to provide mandate relief.  Senate bill 2707 would require the State to grant funding for mandated programs that create additional costs to local governments and school districts.

Senator Ranzenhofer believes the issues of mandates and property taxes are connected.

“Although many pieces of legislation in the State Senate are proposed with good intentions, once passed, it becomes a mandate which increases costs. As a result, school districts and local governments are forced to pass along additional costs by raising property taxes. This legislation forces State legislators to think twice about the negative effects of State mandates upon local governments and school districts,” said Ranzenhofer.

The two items approved on Monday will be sent to the State Assembly.