Photo credit: @julesdwit.
A not-for-profit media organization supported by people like you.
Governor Cuomo has proposed capping property tax growth at 2%. Heather Briccetti, acting president of the Business Council of New York State, discusses the bill, which the BCNYS supports.
I pay $8K per year on a $700K house in NJ. Why so cheap? No school busing. If school busing is included, and gas prices, plus the cost of employees, have risen, limiting property taxes will limit or eliminate busing. The next town has busing, and property taxes are double that in my town; both towns have top 20 NJ public high schools.
A Tax Cap without mandate relief is unrealisic and irresponsible. Heather Briccetti mentioned the state of Massachusetts as being successful, but the real story is that the state had to dump tremendous amounts of state aid after the tax cap proved damaging for many districts especially the poorer ones. Also this legislation if enacted will play out to increase the educational gap and not solve the problem of tax relief.
The New York State Coalition for Local Control (NYSCLC) is a coalition of taxpayers from numerous New York State school districts who oppose the proposed “tax cap” legislation. NYSCLC developed an on-line petition in collaboration with the New York State PTA and, in just over one week, over 8,600 New York State residents have affirmatively logged in to sign this Petition (www.nyspta.org). The petition is gaining supporters at a steady rate of approximately 1000 per day. A recent poll of Westchester voters across the political spectrum shows that the majority of people want local control as opposed to a state-imposed tax cap.The NYSCLC also calls your attention to the fact that beyond the fundamental problem of a tax cap proposal without mandate relief, this legislation is fundamentally flawed. At a MINIMUM we urge you to incorporate the following amendments:
Eliminate the 60% override clause. American democracy is built on the principle of one person, one vote. A 60% override clause would only serve to widen the educational equity gap between wealthy and less affluent districts, as the highest need districts are the least likely to achieve a supermajority vote . If you peruse the petition you will immediately see that many voters are enraged by the thought of having their voting rights weakened;
Exclude pension cost growth in its entirety as these costs are not under the control of the school district. Pensions are determined by legislative statute and administered by the State. The exclusion only above “two percentage points” of pension contribution rate growth, proposed in the Silver bill and the new Senate bill proposed yesterday, is wholly inadequate; class sizes for schoolchildren on Long Island and across New York State hang in the balance.
Exclude rapidly rising health care costs, which despite increased contributions from employees, could consume most of the proposed tax levy cap;
Allow for less draconian contingency budget provisions to continue in effect if a budget is voted down, rather than require a zero percent contingency budget;
Reconsider the rigid and unsustainable cap of “LESSER of 2% or the inflation rate.” If the CPI adjusts upwards, the tax cap must similarly adjust upwards;
Exclude costs associated with enrollment increases, not just those attributed to new development;
Exclude expenses associated with certiorari-related tax refunds that have nothing to do with education; and
Exclude costs associated with unfunded state mandates, other than those referenced above, that require local municipalities and school districts to increase spending for expenditures that have no effect whatsoever on academic achievement.
The cap seems to do nothing about what amounts to a huge loophole for counties: the practice of overvaluing properties that effectively increases property taxes without having to change the rates.
For the past 2 years Essex county has increased assessments even while actual real estate values have been in a nose dive. This has caused an uproar up here which has, apparently not been heard in either Albany or NYC.
Would it be something similar to California's prop 13? If so, is there something to learn from us?
I am not saying it's good or bad, just saying that maybe there's something to be learned.
@ hjs - Following your train of thought.
I've been wondering for a while now about the salaries/benefits/pensions of such _non-union_, public sector state and local employees like elected officials, school and public administrators, managers, etc. Has there been any coverage/analysis along these lines, particularly since "double-dipping" is common practice in many states across the U.S.
Yes, God please yes, I can barely afford to live in my house and feed my family, The taxes here in Nassau are basically forcing me from my home. Every year they go up while our household income doesnt.
I moved from Upstate New York (Rochester) to Stamford due in part to property taxes.
I have a $400k house and pay $16k in property taxes.
How much do all the mayors, school superintendents, department heads and their secretaries in all the municipalities cost the state’s taxpayers? We know they are not all needed. But this need for home rule has a cost.Why cap at the state level. Let the voters choose how much tax they pay by voting for the right local leadership.
Email addresses are required but never displayed.
Brian Lehrer leads the conversation about what matters most now in local and national politics, our own communities and our lives.
Subscribe on iTunes
WNYC 93.9 FM and AM 820 are New York's flagship public radio
stations, broadcasting the finest programs from NPR and PRI, as well as a wide range of award-winning local
programming. WNYC is a division of
New York Public Radio.