Assemblyman Bill Reilich (R,C,I-Greece) recently received hundreds of phone calls at his district office in response to a legislative mailing that the assemblyman sent to constituents highlighting new legislation, the Property Taxpayers Protection Act, which the Monroe County assemblyman is sponsoring as part of his efforts to provide real and lasting relief to New York state homeowners.
“Monroe County homeowners and their counterparts across the state are tired of paying some of the highest property taxes in the nation,” said Reilich. “With the economy in a downturn, gas prices continuing to soar and tax bills and assessments going up annually, the Legislature needs to take action to provide homeowners with real solutions and not band-aid approaches to the state’s property tax crisis.”
The Property Taxpayers Protection Act will lower property taxes for homeowners by limiting the growth of school district tax levies to 4 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less, and also will 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 math and English testing.
Opponents of the legislation argue that the bill will reduce funding for education. However, Assemblyman Reilich disagrees and points out that a similar approach has already worked in Massachusetts, a state that had the highest property taxes in the 1980s and now ranks 32nd in relation to property taxes while continuing to rank in the top five in per pupil spending.
“The Legislature already has a roadmap to lower property taxes, now it needs the courage to stand up to special interest groups and do what is in the best interest of the people of this state by enacting legislation that will give homeowners long-term relief from property taxes,” remarked Reilich.
“In my tenure as assemblyman, I have seen politicians in Albany sit on important legislation like civil confinement for years before they pass a watered down version of the bill,” added Reilich. “The homeowners of this state cannot wait another year, let alone two decades to receive the needed change they deserve in regards to their property tax bills.”