Senator Martins: We Need Tax Relief Now

Jack M. Martins

May 20, 2011

Urges Assembly to Pass the Tax Cap

Senator Jack M. Martins and his Senate colleagues from Long Island made a push to get the Assembly to pass a 2 percent tax cap as a means to bring property tax relief to Long Island families at a press conference on Thursday. Governor Andrew Cuomo has been a proponent of the cap, which was already passed by the Senate. The bill just needs approval from the Assembly to become law.

“The growth of property taxes here on Long Island is unsustainable. Long Island families need property tax relief and they need it now,” said Senator Martins. “Long Island residents have constantly been asked to go into their pockets to pay more property taxes. It’s driving people away and hurting our economy. We need the Assembly to pass this measure before this sessions ends.”

According to the Tax Foundation, the median property taxes paid on homes in Nassau in a three-year period from 2007-2009 in Nassau County was $8,478, highest in the nation.

“We can’t let our residents continue with an ever-increasing tax burden,” said Senator Martins. “We need to bring tax relief so that our residents can continue to live in the communities they helped build and we can enable our young families to stay.”

“Passing the Governor’s hard property tax cap bill was one of the first things the Senate did this year and, unfortunately, the bill has languished in the Assembly,” Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos said. “The Speaker of the Assembly has made it clear that acting on the Governor’s property tax cap bill in not a priority in his house. Well it is the top priority for Senate Republicans and it’s a priority in thousands of homes on Long Island where taxpayers are desperate for relief.”

Some are concerned with local governments’ and school districts’ abilities to live within the 2 percent cap considering the escalating costs of pensions and healthcare. The Senate is discussing ways to offer mandate relief to school districts and municipalities.

Long Island’s Senate delegation believes that the tax cap will serve as a foundation to provide tax relief to families in New York State who have seen property taxes grow by 73 percent from 1998 to 2008, more than twice the rate of inflation.

The tax cap would cap property tax levies at 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less.