“Today the governor recognized that the economy in upstate New York needs revitalization, that property taxes are too high, and that we need to reduce the high cost of doing business in the state.
I support the governor’s proposal to establish a $1 billion Upstate Revitalization Fund which will provide a substantial infusion into upstate economic development initiatives. The funding will be used for a variety of projects, such as cleaning up brownfields and luring companies to distressed areas. I am looking forward to learning more about the Upstate Revitalization Fund during the governor’s State of Upstate speech in Buffalo next week.
The governor will also submit legislation to reform the Wicks Law. High property taxes are caused in part by state mandates such as the Wicks Law. The current Wicks Law threshold of $50,000 is too low and has not been updated since 1964. We need to increase the threshold to help school districts and local governments control the cost of construction, which will ultimately help to keep property taxes down.
The executive budget will also include another round of property tax rebates targeted to middle class homeowners. Although the rebate checks will provide temporary assistance to homeowners, we still need to find a more permanent solution to lower the high property taxes in upstate New York.”