Senate Passes Bonacic Co-Sponsored Tax Reform Legislation

John J. Bonacic

March 19, 2010

The New York State Senate on Thursday, passed legislation, (S.6212a) co-sponsored by Senator John Bonacic to provide a “Circuit Breaker” to families in New York State who pay a higher than average share of their income in property taxes.

 “People buy a home under the presumption that their income can sustain the home, and also sustain tax increases at the rate of inflation.   This legislation would provide some relief for families whose income has not sustained, or whose taxes have exceeded the rate of inflation.   Far more needs to be done, but anything we can do to limit spending, and also provide immediate tax relief is a step in the right direction,” Senator Bonacic said.  

 Bonacic was the first Republican Senator to sponsor the tax reform legislation, which passed the Senate yesterday.  “I do not care if it is a Republican or Democrat who sponsors the legislation.  I am willing to work across any aisle on any issue, and particularly one as important as reforming New York’s broken property tax system.  I would have preferred a stronger circuit breaker proposal – such as the one offered by Republicans for the past several years, which would have provided even more relief, but at least this is a step in the right direction,”  Senator Bonacic said.    

 Bonacic is a long-time proponent of property tax reform.  In 2006, 2007, and 2008 the Senate passed legislation he co-authored to allow for a 5 year phase out of school taxes that homeowners pay to operate our local schools.  He also supported tax cap legislation and also State spending cap legislation.  

 “The property tax system has failed. Taxes should relate to income.  It is a basic, simple, and important principle.   It is wrong that we finance our education system on a theory literally set up in the times of lords and serfs.  Today’s legislation can lead to a permanent change in our broken tax system,” Senator Bonacic said.

  Bonacic urged the New York State Assembly to also, finally, take up property tax reform.   Several Assembly-members have sponsored property tax reform legislation, but have failed to even have their bills debated in Committee, much less the entire Assembly.  The Assembly rules actually require a vote in Committee on any bill if the sponsor simply requests it.  Therefore, the failure to vote on the property tax reform bills, many of which have been sponsored for years and years, without any action, is inexplicable. 

 “People have waited for too long for the New York State Assembly to act on property tax reform.  These individuals in the Assembly have talked the talk on property tax reform, but they have not forced action.  They keep voting to put Speaker Silver back in power, all while he blatantly ignores the biggest issue outside of New York City.   It is time for the Assembly to address property tax reform so we can set up conference committees, and reach an agreement that will once and for all end the property tax crisis,” concluded Senator Bonacic.