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The Empire

New York uprising, tax cap edition

As we've been reporting, one of growing issues throughout the state is how local municipalities are faring under the the state's tax cap, specifically under state mandates like Medicaid. Thomas Kaplan of the New York Times today has a piece out about how counties and towns throughout the city are taking things, and the answer is: not well.

The property tax cap was a big piece of Cuomo's successful first legislative session. But now the need for local governments to raise funds is pushing hundreds to override the much-heralded legislation:

The Association of Towns of the State of New York estimated that, based on historical budgeting data, about a third of New York’s 932 towns might also consider overriding the cap. Some towns said they needed faster property-tax increases to pay for important capital projects; others cited a need to finance their share of the rebuilding in the wake of Tropical Storms Irene and Lee.

This issue has already created rumblings around the state for something to be done in the next session. Cuomo's office, according to the article, argues that only about 20 percent of localities' budgets could require an override, and that the existence of an override provision shows the law has built in flexibility. But with a 60 percent supermajority threshold, it's entirely possible localities could be facing severe financial issues if the override can't be reached.