Contact: Laurie Ammerman, (518) 229-4632
For Immediate Release:
February 8, 2009
Tedisco To Governor Paterson:
You Are Supporting The Wrong Tax Cap
Says plan to cap state property tax payments on state land would devastate communities

Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco (R,C,I-Schenectady-Saratoga) today blasted Governor David Paterson's proposal to cap state property tax payments to areas containing state forest preserve land. Under the Governor's plan, payments to such areas would be permanently frozen at 2008 levels.

Although the tax cuts would primarily affect the Adirondack Park and the Catskills, many other state-owned lands would be impacted, including the Saratoga Race Course, which is in Tedisco's 110th Assembly District.

"There is no doubt that the costs diverted from communities hit by this tax freeze would be borne by local property taxpayers," Tedisco said. "This proposal assumes that municipalities and school districts would decrease their spending, but the reality is that many localities are struggling in this tough economy and already working to try and do more with less," Tedisco stated.

"It is the height of fiscal irresponsibility for our government to try and balance its budget on the backs of property owners. If the Governor truly wants to do the right thing for New Yorkers, he would support the swift passage of our Conference's 'New York State Property Taxpayer Protection Act,' which would put the brakes on ever-increasing property taxes and allow families and local employers to stay in their communities," Tedisco continued.

Tedisco said the legislation would prevent school district property tax levies from increasing by more than four percent each year or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower. It would also provide voters with the ability to override this limitation by a two-thirds majority vote. The initiative also provides significant unfunded mandate relief for school districts.

"Our proposal offers a smart solution to a serious problem," Tedisco said. "New Yorkers pay some of the highest property taxes in the nation, and for years have been asking for real relief. The Governor's plan amounts to a half-hearted band aid. The government should live up to its obligations and keep the promise made to taxpayers by providing real property tax relief. New York's overtaxed, overburdened homeowners deserve real relief and a real property tax cap, not some budgetary gimmick," Tedisco concluded.

New York State Assembly
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