Contact: Laurie Ammerman, (518) 455-5073
For Immediate Release:
Thursday, September 13, 2007

New York Homeowners Still Crushed By Sky High Property Taxes
State retains rank near top in new Tax Foundation report

Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco (R,C,I-Schenectady-Saratoga) today called on Gov. Eliot Spitzer and the Assembly Majority members to address the state's ever-increasing property taxes, in response to yet another report showing New York's property taxes are well above the national average. Tedisco has long been an advocate for a property tax cap and additional relief.

"Obviously, our state is failing when it comes to providing much-needed relief to our taxpayers," said Tedisco. "From Buffalo to Plattsburgh to the Eastern tip of Long Island, homeowners have nowhere to hide from these ridiculous tax rates. Unfortunately, the only way to escape it is to leave the state, and we cannot afford more population loss. It is time for Gov. Spitzer and Speaker Silver to join my conference in providing real, meaningful relief to our constituents. This high ranking is certainly no honor."

The report, issued by the Tax Foundation based on the latest Census data, once again shows that New York's counties hold the dubious distinction of being home to the highest tax rates in the country. In fact, nine out of the top 10 counties in the nation, when property taxes were measured as a percentage of the value of the home, were located in Upstate New York. Wayne County ranked first, with a tax rate of 2.94 percent of the value of the home, more than three times the national median.

In addition, three New York counties rank in the top 10 when measuring property taxes in absolute terms. Nassau County ($7,706) ranks second, Westchester County ($7,626) third and Rockland County ($7,041) seventh in the nation. The remaining counties in the top 10 are located in Northern New Jersey, illustrating further that the Northeast lags behind the entire country in providing property tax relief.

"Just two weeks ago, Gov. Spitzer said we should look into a cap on property taxes," added Tedisco. "I applauded his statement and my conference and I will come back to Albany at any time to take up this issue. Our Property Taxpayer Protection Act addresses many of our homeowners' concerns and would be a huge step in the right direction for our state. However, no concrete measures have been taken and I'm still waiting for the call back to Albany so we can get this done as soon as possible."

The "New York State Property Taxpayers Protection Act" would:

  • Limit the amount a school district can increase tax levies to four percent annually or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower. However, voters have the ability to override the cap by a two-thirds majority vote.

  • Require any state mandate (costing more than $10,000 annually or $1 million statewide) that is imposed on a school district or municipality to be paid for by the state.

  • Provide 100 percent reimbursement to schools for costs incurred from 4th and 8th grade Math and English tests.

  • Create the Office of State Inspector General for Education to investigate financial abuse, corruption and misconduct in schools.

  • Consolidate school district paperwork requirements, saving time and money.

  • Provide municipalities the option to pool insurance costs with the goal of saving taxpayer dollars.

  • Require the state to take over the costs of all optional Medicaid services within five years, saving property taxpayers nearly $10 billion.

  • Provide necessary funds to counties to buy software for Medicaid fraud investigations.

  • Provide financial incentives and other assistance to localities to consolidate local government services.

New York State Assembly
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