Statement from Senator Harckham on Passage of a Permanent Property Tax Cap, APPR Teacher Evaluations and the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

(Mt. Kisco, NY) Senator Pete Harckham released the following statement today following passage in the NYS Senate of a slate of bills:

Making the Property Tax Cap Permanent

“Today we took an important step to help ensure that no one in my district in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties or, in any other part of our state, will be taxed out of their home or the town they live in,” said Senator Pete Harckham, 40th Senate District. “Making the property tax cap permanent helps reduce the tax burden on New York families and keep our towns more affordable.” 

Annual Professional Performance Review 

“Today, we moved toward ending the unfair practice of evaluating educators based primarily on student test scores,” said Senator Pete Harckham, 40th Senate District. “This has put undue burden on students and teachers alike, and does not necessarily reflect on educators’ proficiency or effectiveness.”

Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

“By increasing the Tuition Assistance Program’s income eligibility and minimum awards, the Senate is taking concrete steps to give working class and middle-class families in New York more help in paying for college,” said Senator Pete Harckham, 40th Senate District. “This measure adds families with incomes between $80,000 and $95,000 into the eligibility pool."



Making the Property Tax Cap Permanent will help provide financial stability to property tax payers around the State, particularly at a time when federal tax policies are hurting many New York taxpayers who can no longer deduct the full value of their state and local taxes, including property taxes, at the federal level. The property tax cap has been effective at generating savings for prop-erty owners and businesses. In the first three years in New York the property tax cap has saved $2.6 billion and is projected to save more than $11.4 billion over the first ten years of implementation.
The APPR Teacher Evaluations bill eliminates the mandatory use of state assessments to determine a teacher or principal’s effectiveness and empowers school districts and teachers to make the decision on whether to use standardized tests in teacher or principal evaluations.
The Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) served 276,000 students in 2018-2019; 108,000 at SUNY, 82,000 at CUNY and 86,000 at all other schools. The cost is $928 million annually and the average award is $3,362.

New York State Senate District 40 includes parts of Northern Westchester (Briarcliff Manor, Buchanan, Cortlandt, Croton-on-Hudson, Lewisboro, Mount Kisco, Mount Pleasant, New Castle, North Salem, Peekskill, Pleasantville, Pound Ridge, Sleepy Hollow, Somers, Yorktown) Putnam (Brewster, Carmel, Patterson, Southeast) and Dutchess (Beekman, Pawling).