Long Island’s Assembly Minority Delegation Pushes For Property Tax Cap Vote

Call out Assembly Majority on measure
May 19, 2011

Long Island members of the Assembly Minority Conference today reaffirmed their support for a property tax cap in New York State, a measure which would protect homeowners against sky-high property taxes. They echoed members of the state Senate who, already having passed the measure, held a press conference in Suffolk County today pressing the Assembly to vote for Governor Andrew Cuomo’s property tax cap legislation.

The Assembly Majority, controlled by Speaker Shelly Silver, denied an Assembly Minority amendment to its rent-control legislation on April 11. While all 51 members – or 100 percent – of the Assembly Minority Conference fully supported the amendment to bring Governor Cuomo’s property tax cap bill to the floor for a vote, 92 percent of Silver’s Assembly Majority did not support it.

“Our taxpayers, schools, and municipalities are on the brink of financial crisis,” said Assemblyman Dean Murray (R,C - AD 3). “We need to pass a property tax cap and substantial mandate relief now to help them get back on a firm financial footing.”

Murray also has drafted mandate relief legislation, Assembly bill 5305, that would place a three-year freeze on existing unfunded mandates on local governments and school districts and require an extensive review of these local cost-drivers. Said Murray, “I hope the property tax cap comes to the floor for an up-or-down vote now, because hardworking Long Islanders need relief today.”

“This property tax cap is the necessary mechanism to bring all parties to the table for meaningful mandate relief. It must be done,” said Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick (R,C,I - AD 7).

“I thank our senators for answering the call of residents,” said Assemblyman Saladino (R - 12 AD). “We need a tax cap that ends unfunded mandates and that is fair in driving state aid to our schools, which we deserve. This is something that must be done, and I join them in calling on the Assembly Majority to bring a bill that is fair and equitable to the floor for a vote.”

“It is high time that a tax cap proposal be debated on the Assembly floor,” said Assemblyman Andrew Raia (R,C,I - AD 9).

“I implore Governor Cuomo to use the bully pulpit to put pressure on the Assembly Majority in order to bring his bill to the floor for a vote. His leadership is needed to ensure that the Legislature delivers something which New Yorkers have long sought: meaningful and lasting tax relief,” said Assemblyman Jim Conte (R,C,I,WF - AD 10).

“The Assembly Minority Conference is not the problem,” said Assemblyman Al Graf (R,C - AD 5). “We are ready to work with the Governor on this issue and many others. He needs to get his own house in order, because the opposition in the Assembly is coming from the Majority.”

“The legislative record, the voting record, and the public record are perfectly clear. The Assembly Minority Conference has been pushing for a property tax cap since 2007, long before Governor Cuomo and long before it was popular,” said Assemblyman David McDonough (R,C,I - AD 19). “Since then, the Assembly Majority has refused to bring this taxpayer-relief initiative up for a vote. Instead of lumping the entire Legislature into one, the Governor should make public the members of the Majority who are stonewalling this important legislation. Our fed-up homeowners, who pay some of the nation’s highest property taxes, deserve to know who actually supports them.”

“I join the senators’ call for the property tax cap,” said Assemblyman Michael A. Montesano (R,I,C - AD 15). “Nassau County has the highest median property taxes in the entire country. Families, businesses, and homeowners cannot wait any longer for a property tax cap. The Assembly Majority is holding the cap hostage despite the Assembly speaker himself calling it a top priority. I can tell you from the letters and phone calls I receive daily from constituents that the cap is their top priority. The Assembly Majority needs to do the right thing and let the cap come to the floor for a vote. The time for waiting is over – the time to pass the cap is now!”

“The Assembly Majority is currently the only obstacle to passing real and lasting property tax relief in New York State. Governor Cuomo, the Senate Majority, the Assembly Minority and a majority of New Yorkers all are in favor of passing some form of tax cap,” said Assemblyman Dan Losquadro (R,C - AD 1). “A tax cap will not only provide needed relief to families and businesses, but will begin the process of mandate reform that is needed to lower taxes and reduce out-of-control spending.”

“Long Island taxpayers have been burdened for far too long with ever-rising property taxes,” said Assemblyman Tom McKevitt (R,C,I - AD 17). “Nassau County residents pay the highest property taxes in the United States. Meaningful property tax reform and mandate relief are needed now.”