Year after year homeowners in New York State suffer from the highest property taxes in the nation, and year after year, we offer “band-aid” programs in the form of a rebate check or tax credit for a few hundred dollars each to “offset” the burden. As we have repeatedly witnessed, these programs do little to help the struggling homeowner, if they are even noticed by them at all. What we have failed to do is examine the underlying cause of these exorbitant tax levels, and come up with a long-term solution that would truly fix the problem.
My bill S.1388 offers a real solution to the problem by offering overburdened homeowners real property tax reductions of 20-to-30 percent by simply lowering the taxes they are required to pay each year, which will result in more affordable homeownership. The mechanisms of the bill accomplish this by actually balancing the sources by which school districts are funded without affecting existing levels of public school funding or raising taxes.
As an example many homeowners live in school districts that lack an equitable partnership from state aid and commercial property which results in the homeowners shouldering 70% of the tax burden. School districts have three revenue streams, state aid, commercial property taxes, and residential property taxes. When two of the revenue streams share only 30% of the responsibility, homeowners suffer and housing becomes unaffordable. Sadly this story is shared all across the state. Homeowners in school districts across Long Island and the state suffer from this problem because our current system does not take into account the level of responsibility each partner shares in funding our schools.
By adopting this plan, we would ensure no homeowner in NYS is asked to pay more than 50% of the total cost of education. Additionally, and equally as important, no school district would lose a dime in funding because the state’s share of funding would be increased to cover the cost of the reduced property tax levy on homeowners with no increase in income taxes.
According to Martin R. Cantor; Director of the Long Island Center for Socio-Economic Policy and a former Suffolk County Economic Development Commissioner:
What does The Brooks Plan do? This plan is our chance to fix a property tax system that is broken for so many New Yorkers
How is the system broken? The current property tax system is broken for hundreds of thousands of homeowners all across the state because they are forced to pay more than their fair share in property taxes. Homeowners in districts that see limited state aid while at the same time have small commercial property tax bases become overburdened by the lack of partnership in funding their schools.
How does this plan fix that problem? High property taxes result in unaffordable homeownership and contribute to the housing crisis. If enacted, the provisions of my plan would impact homeowners all across the states with many seeing their taxes reduced by 20-30%. This would be accomplished by simply balancing the sources by which school districts are funded through a cap on a homeowners property tax responsibility.
How do we pay for this? The state has a strong surplus and financial forecast this is well within current state resources.
Background: School districts are funded in three ways state aid, commercial property and homeowners. When homeowners are paying more than 50% that means these other partners are not contributing their fair share. This plan will reduce the levy on homeowners and supplement that reduction with additional state aid. Many homeowners will see their taxes reduced by 20-30%
According to The Newsday Editorial Board: