New York State Senator Greg Ball (R, C – Patterson) told the Town Board Feb. 15 that although the property tax levy cap isn’t perfect, it is a first step towards tax relief for property owners.
Ball has been a proponent of the tax levy cap for more than four years and believes it is an important tool for helping taxpayers, he said.
“I know it’s not absolutely perfect,” said Ball, who has received numerous calls from municipalities on the legislation’s flaws. “It has to come with unfunded mandate relief.”
An unfunded state mandate is a law passed by the state which requires municipalities, schools and/or businesses to pay for implementing the legislation.
The property tax cap legislation has pushed the issue of unfunded mandates to the forefront on the state level. Two of the mandate relief proposals circulating in Albany include a statewide takeover of Medicaid expenditures, which is killing local governments, Ball said. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is also working on a new tier for the state employee pension system that would bring relief, he said.
“The property tax cap is forcing the issue of unfunded mandate relief in a way we’ve never seen,” he said.
The Mandate Relief Council formed by the governor last year to detail additional unfunded mandates that could be repealed will bring its findings to the floor of the legislature in the coming months, Ball said. The partial repeal of the MTA payroll tax in 2011 exempted 32,000 businesses in the 40th state Senate district from paying the tax, Ball said. The controversial legislation, passed in 2009, was to bailout the Metropolitan Transit Authority.
Town Councilman Frank Lombardi told Ball that municipalities and nonprofits should also be exempt.
“We’re trying to meet the property tax cap,” Lombardi said. “It’s still taxpayer money being spent to support the MTA. It’s not fair. It’s an additional struggle and burden we shouldn’t have to have.”
The state legislature will be revisiting the tax and Ball will continue advocating for a full repeal, Ball said. (ARTICLE)