Important State Budget Update from Assemblyman Steve Hawley
Hawley asks: Where’s the property tax relief?
March 27, 2006
With property taxes on-the-rise across Western New York and the entire state, the state budget is a perfect opportunity to pass meaningful property tax relief for New York property owners. Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,I,C-Batavia), an outspoken advocate of reducing the property tax burden, today raised concerns about current budget negotiations and the lack of a tough tax relief plan on behalf of the Assembly majority conference. “The clock is ticking and the budget deadline is near,” said Hawley. “As I knocked on doors in the 139th Assembly District and asked what concerns constituents had, the overwhelming response was ‘What will you do about my property taxes?’ The message is very clear – New Yorkers don’t just want property tax relief; they need property tax relief. Under the majority’s plan, to receive a tax break a homeowner’s property taxes must be greater than 7.5 percent of their household income, meaning that a working family with a household income of $70,000 and a property tax bill of $5,250 or less would not receive any relief. The maximum amount homeowners could receive this year if they qualify would be $200. Under the Assembly minority plan, every homeowner who receives STAR would receive additional and substantial property tax relief. Average homeowners would save $715 annually, and the average senior $1,256. The Assembly minority conference’s plan increases STAR exemption rates to better reflect today’s property taxes and calls for a Co-STAR program to reduce county taxes. It also proposes the elimination of unfunded mandates, a major crackdown on Medicaid waste and fraud, and holding the line on runaway spending so the relief is lasting. “We need to pass an on-time state budget, but more important we need a budget that provides relief to property owners who have been crushed by rising taxes at every turn,” concluded Hawley.