Property Tax Cap Passes Senate

Timothy M. Kennedy

February 09, 2011

Senator Kennedy adds momentum behind push for governor’s tax cap bill, mandate relief proposal

 ALBANY, N.Y. – With Western New York families and businesses struggling under the largest tax burden in the nation, Senator Timothy M. Kennedy, D-58th District, co-sponsored Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s property tax cap program bill – which caps the growth of property taxes at the lesser of two percent or the rate of inflation – to help push the tax cap through the Senate.

It’s an important step forward in the bipartisan efforts of Senator Kennedy and his colleagues to combat the state’s skyrocketing taxes.

“Western New York’s hardworking families and business owners have made it very clear that the time for property tax relief is now,” Senator Kennedy said. “Since 1977, New York has had the highest combined state-local tax burden in the nation for every year but three, and property taxes have continued to soar ever-higher, drastically outpacing wage growth and the rate of inflation. The unfortunate side effects have been economic decline and rapid population loss. During the last three decades, over 100,000 people have fled Erie County – that’s nearly 10 percent of our population.

“We’ve all felt the painful effects of our out-of-control property taxes – and not just in our wallets. Those 100,000 people that have left Erie County have been our friends, our neighbors, our parents and our children,” he added. “Western New Yorkers have been forced to endure too many struggles underneath our state’s suffocating tax burden. Today, we’ve taken the first steps down the path toward reducing our tax burden and alleviating the pain that property taxes have afflicted on Middle Class families and businesses.”

The property tax cap vote comes one week after Senator Kennedy launched the Senate Democrats’ renewed focus on providing relief to New York taxpayers. At a press conference Jan. 24, Kennedy called for a property tax cap, serious mandate relief and targeted, direct property tax relief to Middle Class families.

“The Senate passage of the property tax cap is only a first step, but I’m thrilled to have strong allies, like Governor Andrew Cuomo, in this fight against property taxes,” Senator Kennedy said. “I am hopeful that together, we will continue to make significant strides toward providing real property tax relief for Middle Class families and struggling businesses.”  

Following Senator Kennedy’s call for serious mandate relief last week, the Senate also took up legislation Monday to begin the process of alleviating the burden that unfunded state mandates place on school districts and local governments. Kennedy voted in favor of the legislation, which will effectively stop the state from pushing any new unfunded mandates on schools and municipalities. 

Senator Kennedy also announced the release of a new video featuring the senator discussing property tax relief with Cheektowaga Councilman Rick Zydel and David Sullivan, president of Buffalo-based manufacturing company Industrial Support Incorporated. You can watch the video here: