Ritchie Votes for Legislation Aimed at Taxpayer Relief

Bills Ensure Permanent Property Tax Cap and Establishes Spending Growth Cap

Tuesday, State Senator Patty Ritchie voted in favor of two pieces of legislation that would ensure New York State lowers property taxes and reins in spending to the benefit of taxpayers—bills that overwhelmingly passed the State Senate.

Under one of the bills Senator Ritchie supported, Senate bill (S1207), New York State would eliminate the expiration date on its property tax cap and make the two-percent annual increase limit permanent. Historically, uncapped local property taxes have forced New Yorkers out of their homes and caused business—and jobs—to leave for other states. Since the cap was enacted in 2011, it has saved New York State taxpayers $23 billion—including more than $32 million for taxpayers in Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence Counties.

In addition, Senator Ritchie is also urging her colleagues to significantly reduce existing mandates on local governments and school districts, while also supporting a constitutional amendment to ban unfunded mandates. These actions would further the work Senator Ritchie has already done in an effort to ease mandates in New York State, which includes a package of bills she has sponsored.

Also on Tuesday, Senator Ritchie voted in favor of Senate bill (S365), which would establish a spending growth cap, and also increases the maximum capacity of the state’s ‘rainy day’ reserve fund. Seen as a measure to protect New Yorkers from future tax hikes, this legislation would end a pattern of boom or bust budgets based on the state of the economy, by enacting a two-percent spending cap.  Furthermore, increasing the reserve fund maximum would also allow the state to use surpluses to address revenue decline in tough times.

These two affordability-driven bills have been delivered to the New York State Assembly.  The bills, along with reducing income and energy taxes, lowering taxes on retirement and gradually phasing out school taxes for senior citizens, are key priorities for the Senate Majority in the upcoming session.

“Since joining the Senate, one of my very top priorities has been providing tax relief to New Yorkers,” said Senator Ritchie. “I was proud today to stand up for the hardworking people of this state by voting on measures to ensure the benefits of the property tax cap are made permanent, and to control state spending. I am hopeful the Assembly will act on these measures, which will help our state become a more affordable place to live, work and raise a family.”

Since 2011, Senator Ritchie and her colleagues have been responsible for the enactment of 85 tax cuts, saving taxpayers $12 billion. This includes the lowest middle-class tax rates since 1948, the lowest manufacturing rates since 1917 and the lowest corporate rates since 1968.