Bonacic: Why Wait for New Governor on Tax Cap!

John J. Bonacic

September 23, 2010

 State  Senator  John  J.  Bonacic  (R/I/C  – Mt. Hope), is urging the Governor  to  call  the special Legislative session and force a vote on the school  property  tax  cap  in  the  State  Assembly.  The State Senate has repeatedly passed a school property tax cap.

Attorney  General  Andrew  Cuomo  has proposed a 2% tax cap on school property  taxes – which Senator Bonacic supports.  The NY Post has reported that  Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is open to supporting a tax cap – but only if Cuomo is elected Governor.

Bonacic  said  Paterson should use his power in his remaining days in office to call  the  Assembly  back each day until they vote on a school property tax cap.  “What is hard about a simple yes or no vote.  That is Democracy,” Bonacic said.

Gannett News conducted a survey of Assembly members on how they would vote.   Gannett’s  report   showed  commitments from 62 Assembly members to vote  for  the legislation, with many more undecided or refusing to say how they would vote.  “Debates are helpful in educating undecided legislators – although  I  cannot  believe  that  many are really undecided.  The tax cap issue  is  pretty basic.  It is inexplicable to me why the Speaker will not bring  this bill up for a vote, other than to assume he is in the pocket of special interests who oppose controlling costs,” Bonacic said.

Virtually every Assembly Democrat, despite claiming independence from Silver,  supports  Silver  for Speaker.  Only one Assembly Democrat  – Mark J.F.  Schroeder,  of  the  Buffalo  area,  has had the courage to speak out against  Silver.  Virtually  every Assembly Democrat claims they are also for  school  property tax reform – yet  they have not forced Silver to take up this critical issue.

“If  the  NY  Post  is  right,  and  the Assembly Speaker is going to actually  let a little democracy in the Capitol building and allow an up or down vote on a tax cap, why wait?    Let taxpayers know right now who is on the  side  of  capping taxes, and who is not.   It is time for the Assembly Democrats to step up,” Bonacic said.

Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo has proposed a strong tax  cap to limit the growth of school spending.   Polling data from across the State consistently shows taxpayers support a tax cap.  Not only has the Democratic-led  Assembly refused to vote on a tax cap, they have refused to vote  on  the  legislation which passed the Senate three years in a row, to change  the  way  schools  are  funded.   That plan, co-authored by Senator Bonacic,  would  allow a five year phase out of the property tax homeowners pay to operate our local schools.