Senator Kenneth P. LaValle today announced that the Senate Democrats unanimously voted down an amendment he sponsored to cap property taxes at the rate of inflation. Since the rate of inflation has been flat, the measure would have prevented school property tax increases this year.
“Taxpayers will be voting on their school budgets on May 18th. However, the late state budget has left school districts in the dark as to how much state aid they will receive,” said Senator LaValle. “In light of that, many school districts have proposed significant property tax increases in anticipation of deep aid cuts. The property tax cap I proposed would have provided significant savings for homeowners across the state and ensured that school districts are more responsible and disciplined in their spending.”
According to Senator LaValle, the amendment he proposed would limit school tax increases to 2.5 percent or the consumer price index, whichever is lower. This is less than the 4 percent included in previous property tax cap bills. It is the same cap being considered by New Jersey and the one that was enacted in Massachusetts. Since being adopted in Massachusetts, the state went from having the third highest property taxes in the nation to the 33rd.
In a separate measure passed by Senate Republicans and voted down by Senate Democrats, school districts would have been allowed to use their reserves to provide dollar for dollar tax relief at the local level.
“The Senate Democrats claim they want tax relief but are not willing to pass a meaningful plan,” said Senator LaValle. “I think our taxpayers deserve better and I will continue to fight for reforms that will control property taxes for years to come.”