Property Tax Cap, Mandate Relief Needed Now

James L. Seward

April 12, 2011

ALBANY, 04/12/11 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I–Oneonta) today joined legislative colleagues and representatives of business organizations from across the state urging the assembly to act on a meaningful property tax cap bill.
“Home and business owners across my district continue to cite skyrocketing property taxes as one of their top concerns,” said Senator Seward.  “The senate has already done its work, passing Governor Cuomo’s property tax cap legislation – now it’s time for the assembly to get with the program and join us.”

On January 31,2011 the senate passed property tax cap legislation (S2706) co-sponsored by Senator Seward which would limit tax levy growth for school districts and local governments to two percent or 120 percent of the annual increase in the consumer price index, whichever is less.

Along with the property tax cap, the senate also adopted a mandate relief provision (S2707) forcing the state to fund any new requirements imposed on local governments or school districts.

“A property tax cap only works if local elected leaders and school administrators have the tools they need to keep their costs in check.  Additional steps must also be taken to provide greater flexibility and allow officials to concentrate on local concerns not state mandates,” added Seward.

The property tax cap has tremendous support, not only among taxpayers throughout the state, but among major business organizations including the Business Council of New York State, National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), New York Farm Bureau, Manufacturers Association of Central New York (MACNY), and Unshackle Upstate.

“Following an historic budget that put New York on the road to economic recovery, the next step in the fiscal reform agenda is to adopt the property tax cap already passed by the senate,” said Acting President and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc. Heather Briccetti. “The assembly must take action on this vital reform in this session. Enactment of the property tax cap will send a strong signal to business that New York is ready to grow and create private sector jobs.”

“With a business tax climate that ranks worst in the country and local taxes that are 79 percent higher than the national average, it’s no wonder why 17 upstate counties suffered significant population losses over the last decade,” said Executive Director of Unshackle Upstate Brian Sampson. “The governor and senate have demonstrated their leadership on the issue. The members of the assembly majority must follow and provide New York’s taxpayers and private sector employers with real property tax relief – the need is critical and it’s time to deliver. By passing the two-percent property tax cap bill, we can rein in rising property taxes and begin the process of tackling unfunded mandates that ultimately drive up property taxes.  Further delay on this vital measure is simply unacceptable.”

“Hundreds of people signed my on-line petition in February calling for a property tax cap, but additional public pressure is needed to send a loud and clear message to the assembly that the time is now to pass the tax cap.  If you haven’t already done so, I urge you to add your voice to those calling for a meaningful property tax cap now,” added Seward.

The property tax cap on-line petition can be found by clicking here.  Taxpayers can also access the petition at

“Albany is starting to function once again.  An on-time state budget that cuts spending, holds the line on taxes and offers substantial job-creating incentives is already complete.  Now we need to finalize a property tax cap that will give families some breathing room and allow upstate businesses to grow,” Seward concluded.