Contact: Joshua Fitzpatrick, (518) 455-3751
For Immediate Release:
February 12, 2008

Tedisco Delivers Testimony To New York State Commission
On Property Tax Relief On The Severity Of New York's Property Tax Crisis

During testimony delivered to the New York State Commission on Property Tax Relief this afternoon, Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Schenectady, Saratoga) underscored the severity of New York's property tax crisis and publicly urged commission members to expedite enactment of a property tax cap this legislative session.

"We cannot delay. As the seconds tick away, so does the American dream. I must reiterate we are in a property tax crisis in New York. Organization after organization - from the Public Policy Institute, to the Empire Center, to the Citizens Budget Commission - agree that property taxes in our state have spiraled out of control and, if left unchecked, will continue to contribute to New York's economic decline," Tedisco testified to the commission.

Tedisco was joined by two of his Assembly Minority colleagues, Assemblywoman Nancy Calhoun (R,C-Blooming Grove) the Ranking Minority member on the Assembly Real Property Taxation Committee and Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick (R,C,I-Smithtown), sponsor of Assembly Bill A.8775-A, the "New York State Property Taxpayers Protection Act," a measure advanced by Assembly Minority which Tedisco highlighted during his prepared testimony.

"In 2007, after studying Massachusetts' 'Proposition 2 ,' as well as other state caps, our Assembly Minority Conference introduced the 'New York State Property Taxpayers Protection Act' in an effort to address the property tax crisis our constituents face. This plan includes a cap on property taxes by limiting to 4 percent or the rate of inflation, the amount a school district can hike tax levies. Voters have the ability to override this limitation by a two-thirds majority vote," Tedisco testified.

"Since its introduction, the 'New York State Property Taxpayers Protection Act' has received widespread support. To date, 39 municipalities across the state have joined our Conference and passed their own resolutions calling on the State Legislature to adopt the plan. In fact, a 2007 Citizens Budget Commission report stated, 'due to the recent increase in education aid, the most constructive way to envision a property tax cap in New York is at the school district level'," Tedisco stated.

"New York must join the 14 other states - Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota and West Virginia - which have already successfully capped school property taxes. Anything less than a property tax cap is a half-hearted attempt that will only serve to slow, not stop, the hemorrhaging of our people, jobs and tax base," Tedisco testified.

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