Assemblyman Bill Reilich (R,C,I-Greece) is sponsoring new legislation designed to give Monroe County homeowners and businesses real and lasting relief from burdensome property taxes. Reilich noted that there are still some Legislators left in New York that champion the rights of taxpayers over the needs of special interest.
“Businesses and homeowners have been demanding real property tax relief for over a decade,” said Reilich. “Now is the time to deliver meaningful relief. The STAR program, while important in providing short-term relief for taxpayers, has not been successful in permanently lowering homeowners’ property taxes. In fact, under the STAR program taxpayers have seen their property taxes continue to rise.”
The bill that Assemblyman Reilich is sponsoring would lower property taxes for homeowners and businesses by limiting the growth of school district levies to 4 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower. The measure would also require the state to fund mandates that cost municipalities or school districts more than $10,000 a year or has a statewide additional cost of $1 million. It also requires state funding of 4th through 8th grade testing.
“While lowering property taxes for businesses and homeowners, the bill will not lower funding for education,” remarked Reilich. “This approach has already worked in Massachusetts, a state that had the highest property taxes in the 1980’s. Massachusetts now ranks 32nd but continues to rank in the top five in per pupil spending.”
The bill would also decrease property taxes by lowering Medicaid costs through efforts to detect and prosecute cases of Medicaid fraud and abuse. The measure would also strengthen financial accountability of school tax dollars by creating the Office of State Inspector General for Education that would investigate financial abuses in schools, allegations of corruption or other misconduct.
“Far too often, our hard-earned tax dollars are misspent, wasted or stolen by big inefficient bureaucracies with not enough oversight,” added Reilich. “This legislation would give state and local officials greater power of oversight to help save billions of your tax dollars.”
“While many in Albany might oppose this legislation, I am confident that with the support of Monroe County taxpayers and residents across the state we can push this important measure through the Legislature and get the Governor to sign the bill into law.”