Senator Flanagan Joins With Business Leaders And Republican Leaders Of Assembly and Senate To Call For Assembly Passage Of Property Tax Cap

John J. Flanagan

April 13, 2011

            Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) joined with Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos, Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb and representatives of business organizations today to urge the Assembly Majority to pass a meaningful property tax cap bill.  Senator Flanagan sponsored and voted for property tax cap legislation earlier this year that was proposed and supported by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

            “My number one priority right now is to strengthen the economy by providing substantial property tax relief and the tax cap is essential component to that effort,” Senator Flanagan, Chairman of the Senate Education Committee said.  “Residents and businesses are leaving the state in droves because they cannot continue to pay skyrocketing property and job-killing business taxes.  The tax cap is a reasonable and needed step to help keep people in their homes and small businesses operating, while also maintaining essential quality services at the local level.  And it is time that the Assembly majority joined the Senate and the Governor in making it a reality this year.”

             Senator Flanagan is asking anyone who supports the tax cap to click here to join the fight to “Pass The Cap”.  The petition will help send a loud and clear message to the Assembly majority that homeowners in our community want a cap on property taxes.

             “New York homeowners are sick and tired of paying the highest property taxes in the nation and business owners say high property taxes are one of the biggest deterrents to job growth in the state,” Senator Skelos said.  “Republicans in the Senate and Assembly and Governor Cuomo have made enacting a property tax cap a huge priority.  We need the Assembly to pass a tax cap bill that will bring real relief, rather than trying to water it down with so many exemptions.  We must enact a relevant property tax cap bill before the end of this legislative session.”

             “Today is ‘Tax Freedom Day’ – but not here in New York where it arrives April 24 because our property taxes are America’s highest.  Skyrocketing property taxes are costing jobs, killing New York’s economic recovery and destroying our quality of life.  Members of our Conference have consistently made the case for the cap and delivering real property tax relief to rescue homeowners from crushing costs.  The time for talk is over – the Assembly Majority needs to hold an up or down vote on Governor Cuomo’s property tax relief bill,” said Assembly Minority Leader Kolb.           

             The property tax cap has tremendous support, not only among taxpayers throughout the state, but among major business organizations.

             Governor Cuomo’s bill is supported by business organizations across the state.  It would limit a tax levy increase of school districts and municipal governments to either two percent or the annual increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) whichever is less.  This increase would exclude the taxes necessary to support the local share of capital expenditures. If the Assembly joins the Senate and passes the legislation, the law would take effect in 2012.

             Heather Briccetti, Acting President and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc., said: “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. 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.”  

            Michael Durant, Interim New York State Director of the National Federation of Independent Business, New York’s leading small business advocacy organization, said: “Property taxes represent the largest burden for most small businesses.  It’s the largest tax they pay.  And in New York, it is one of the main drivers behind the migration of businesses and residents out of state.  A real, hard cap on property taxes is an urgent priority for the state’s small businesses, which produce most of our new jobs and is key to future economic growth. We applaud Governor Cuomo for fulfilling his campaign pledge in having the property tax cap measure as his first piece of legislation.  We commend the Senate Majority and Senator Skelos for remaining steadfast in their support of this bill and passing it.  And again, we urge the leadership in the Assembly to put aside narrow political interests and do what is best for small business owners and taxpayers across New York and bring this bill to the floor for a vote.”

            Kevin S. Law, President and CEO of the Long Island Association, said: “The Long Island Association remains supportive of the two-percent property tax cap.  Long Islanders pay some of the highest property taxes in the nation and if we are to remain economically viable, we need to get a tax cap in place.”

            In addition to working to get the Assembly to pass the tax cap, the Senate will be proposing and passing extensive mandate relief measures which must go hand-in-hand with the property tax cap to give school districts and local governments greater flexibility to spend tax dollars on local priorities, rather than to address state mandates.