||FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 24, 2011
Contact: Matt Slater (914) 582-2361
KATZ SAYS WITHOUT MANDATE RELIEF, A PROPERTY TAX CAP ONLY ENSURES 2 PERCENT ANNUAL TAX HIKE
A Statement from Assemblyman Steve Katz (R,I-Yorktown)
As the newly-elected representative of the highest-taxed counties in the nation, I am pleased that a property tax cap has been passed in the Assembly. While this is an important step toward reforming our state’s broken tax system, it will not provide immediate relief for the homeowners and businesses already struggling under hefty property tax bills.
The only solution to providing tax relief, and, hopefully, to reduce taxes, is to stop the spending and cost-shifting of unfunded, and often outdated, mandates onto local governments, schools and businesses. Although this year’s state budget did limit spending growth for the first time in decades, much more needs to be done, and, unfortunately, when the Legislature had its chance to tackle mandate relief it failed.
Billions in savings have been identified by the local officials, educators and employers forced to pay Albany’s unfunded mandates – including the nine large mandates that eat up 90 percent of property tax revenues identified by the state Association of Counties – as immediate ways to alleviate the burden; however, this legislation neglected to include any of these recommendations. Furthermore, the bill creates yet another commission, on top of the three new commissions the governor already created this year – talk about waste and redundancy!
Albany should have listened to those out in the field dealing directly with these mandates instead. However disappointing this bill is, I believe that this is a step forward, albeit a baby step, instead of the leaps backward that Albany has taken for far too long.