State Senator John J. Bonacic (R/C - Mount Hope), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Housing and Economic Development, announced today that he will be hosting a public hearing focusing on the total cost of homeownership and how to make it more affordable for New Yorkers. The hearing will be held at 1:00 p.m. on September 29, 2005 at the Ulster County Office Building, Legislative Chamber, 6th Floor, 244 Fair Street, Kingston, New York.
The primary focus of the hearing will be to examine and comment on legislation sponsored by Senator Bonacic, which would allow voters in each County to decide whether they want to abolish the school property tax on homes and shift the local share of the costs to an income tax based system. Property taxes would continue to be paid on second homes and commercial properties.
"This legislation was introduced to provide a realistic solution to the ever increasing and inequitable property tax burden placed on New York’s homeowners to fund our schools. It is a foundation upon which I hope my colleagues and members of the community will build upon to develop structural reform for education financing," Senator Bonacic said.
"The property tax has become the number one impediment to home ownership and it must change," continued Senator Bonacic. "Many people cannot afford to purchase a home because they cannot pay the school property tax as part of their mortgage payment."
Senator Bonacic concluded, "This is not about taxing the rich or poor. It is about creating a broader tax method which will make home ownership more affordable for the middle class, those working to become part of the middle class, and seniors who no longer have a great income level."
The hearing is open to the public. For more information or for those interested in participating, contact Kate Glazer in Senator Bonacic’s office at (518) 455-3181.