Valesky-sponsored tax cap legislation passes State Senate

 
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Legislation co-sponsored by State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) that would finally provide relief from out-of-control property tax increases passed the State Senate today with overwhelming bi-partisan support. 

The bill, (S.2706), which was also a cornerstone of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s legislative agenda, would enact on 2 percent cap on school and local government property tax increases.

“The property tax cap passed by the senate today is an important first step in addressing the property tax burden that has hurt families and hindered economic growth," Senator Valesky said. "Paired with real mandate relief for school districts and municipalities, I believe we can finally achieve long-term, meaningful tax relief for all New Yorkers."

The bill would: 

Cap property tax increases on schools and local governments at the lesser of 2 percent, or the current consumer price index.

Allow schools and local governments have the ability to carry forward up to 1.5 percent of unused levy capacity from the previous year.
 
Require school budgets that are within the levy limit to only require majority approval to pass. School budgets that exceed the levy limit would need a 60 percent approval to override the cap.
Require that in the event that a school budget is defeated twice, a school district would be required to adopt a budget with a tax levy that is no greater than the previous year. 
Grant exemptions to payments on local government legal judgments, capital expenses and consolidation costs. 

The Senate today also passed mandate relief legislation (S.2707), that would require any state mandated program imposed on local governments, or school districts, which created any net additional cost in excess, to be funded by the state. This bill would crack down on the implementation of unfunded mandates that drive up costs on schools and local governments and ultimately place undue burdens on taxpayers. 

Last month, Senator Valesky and his fellow Independent Democratic Conference members unveiled their own mandate relief package that would lessen costs and relieve financial pressure placed local governments.