Senate Approves Property Tax Cap, Mandate Relief

ALBANY, 01/31/11 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I–Oneonta) today announced senate approval of a property tax cap and companion legislation aimed at eliminating unfunded state mandates on school districts and local governments.

“Property taxpayers in New York State are tapped out,” said Senator Seward.  “Enacting a property tax cap is a commonsense approach that will provide significant savings and help families and senior citizens afford to stay in their homes.

“Our small business owners, and in particular, our farmers, who are crumbling under the burden of out of control property taxes, will also receive much needed relief.  Now, instead of agonizing over skyrocketing tax bills, our business leaders can turn their attention to creating jobs and reviving our economy.”

Under the property tax cap (s.2706), tax levy growth for school districts and local governments would be limited to two percent or 120 percent of the annual increase in the consumer price index, whichever is less.

Along with the property tax cap, the senate also adopted a mandate relief provision (s.2707) forcing the state to fund any new requirements imposed on local governments or school districts.

“A property tax cap only works if local elected leaders and school administrators have the tools they need to keep their costs in check.  With the enactment of the mandate relief law, local officials won’t have to worry about unfunded requirements from Albany driving up their costs.

“Together, a property tax cap and mandate relief forge a powerful combination – providing assistance for cash strapped citizens, businesses and municipalities, while, at the same time, renewing our state’s economy.”

Prior to the start of the senate session, Senator Seward released his legislative agenda titled Extreme Makeover: New York.  Many of the elements contained in Seward’s four part initiative are incorporated in the legislation adopted today.