First Step? Start Doing Away With Nation's Highest Property Tax Burden

Thomas F. O'Mara

February 01, 2011

Albany, N.Y., January 31—The New York State Senate has approved legislation that would allow New York to join 43 other states that have put a cap on school and local government property tax increases.

[Watch Senator O'Mara's remarks in support of the measure during debate in the Senate Chamber]

The measure was approved 45 to 17 with strong bipartisan support in the 62-member Senate.  Read more...  

The Senate-approved property tax cap legislation was introduced by Cuomo as a “program bill” late last week.  It calls for limiting future property tax levy increases to no more than 2% or 120% of the annual increase in the consumer price index (CPI), whichever is less.

The push for a property tax cap has long been supported by legislators, including O’Mara, in both houses of the Legislature and was a centerpiece of Cuomo’s campaign for governor last fall. 

“Let’s get moving on actions to finally lift the highest local property tax burden in America,” said O’Mara.  “New York’s local property tax burden has stood out as the highest in the nation for too long.  Upstate property taxpayers have had enough.  This property tax cap represents the key first step.  But the cap must be joined by additional reform actions like Medicaid redesign and doing away with unfunded state mandates.”

It’s been widely noted that New York currently has the highest local taxes in the nation as a percentage of personal income – 79 percent above the national average.

To become law, the property tax cap legislation must be approved by the state Assembly and signed into law by the governor.