Senator Steve Saland Announces Passage Of Major Property Tax Relief Bill

Stephen M. Saland

June 13, 2007

Senator Steve Saland (R,I,C Poughkeepsie) today announced the Senate has passed an omnibus real property tax relief bill, S.6119, which combines a number of initiatives he authored as well as other measures designed to reform the State’s property tax system.

"Tax payers have been calling for relief from the crushing burden of property taxes," said Senator Saland. "Reforming our property tax system, especially school property taxes, is a necessity. It is critical to virtually all property owners, and especially our seniors, in order for them to remain in the homes where they have lived for years and for our young people to afford to live in the communities where they were raised."

This major legislation has a number of key elements which provide both property tax relief and reform. For example, one component, previously passed by Senator Saland in 2006, would authorize local voters to take a public vote to determine if school property taxes on primary residences should be phased out over five years, with the State picking up the costs. Another Saland measure included in this new bill would require the State to fully fund any mandated program imposed on municipalities or school districts.

"As Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, I recognize the tremendous financial burden State mandates are to school districts and how these costs directly affect tax payers. I am gratified that legislation I authored to fully fund these mandates has been included in this new bill," Saland continued. "Combined with other provisions, such as freezing the assessments of those over 65 who earn less than $100,000 and the creation of a Blue Ribbon Commission on Property Tax Reform, this bill should be the catalyst to get us on the road to resolving one of the thorniest problems the State is facing," Saland added.

"The Senate, time and again during the past decade, has passed legislation to provide school tax relief, as well as reform, to relieve overburdened property owners. While others have talked, I and my Senate colleagues have acted. The time has long since passed for lip service. I implore the Governor and the Assembly to make school tax reform a priority and to resolve this crisis," Saland concluded.