State Senator John J. Bonacic (R/I/C – Mt. Hope), is urging the Governor to call the special Legislative session and force a vote on the school property tax cap in the State Assembly. The State Senate has repeatedly passed a school property tax cap.
Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has proposed a 2% tax cap on school property taxes – which Senator Bonacic supports. The NY Post has reported that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is open to supporting a tax cap – but only if Cuomo is elected Governor.
Bonacic said Paterson should use his power in his remaining days in office to call the Assembly back each day until they vote on a school property tax cap. “What is hard about a simple yes or no vote. That is Democracy,” Bonacic said.
Gannett News conducted a survey of Assembly members on how they would vote. Gannett’s report showed commitments from 62 Assembly members to vote for the legislation, with many more undecided or refusing to say how they would vote. “Debates are helpful in educating undecided legislators – although I cannot believe that many are really undecided. The tax cap issue is pretty basic. It is inexplicable to me why the Speaker will not bring this bill up for a vote, other than to assume he is in the pocket of special interests who oppose controlling costs,” Bonacic said.
Virtually every Assembly Democrat, despite claiming independence from Silver, supports Silver for Speaker. Only one Assembly Democrat – Mark J.F. Schroeder, of the Buffalo area, has had the courage to speak out against Silver. Virtually every Assembly Democrat claims they are also for school property tax reform – yet they have not forced Silver to take up this critical issue.
“If the NY Post is right, and the Assembly Speaker is going to actually let a little democracy in the Capitol building and allow an up or down vote on a tax cap, why wait? Let taxpayers know right now who is on the side of capping taxes, and who is not. It is time for the Assembly Democrats to step up,” Bonacic said.
Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo has proposed a strong tax cap to limit the growth of school spending. Polling data from across the State consistently shows taxpayers support a tax cap. Not only has the Democratic-led Assembly refused to vote on a tax cap, they have refused to vote on the legislation which passed the Senate three years in a row, to change the way schools are funded. That plan, co-authored by Senator Bonacic, would allow a five year phase out of the property tax homeowners pay to operate our local schools.