Mandate Reform Needed To Complete Tax Cap

A Legislative Column from Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney (R,C,I-New Hartford)
February 18, 2011
Last week, a coalition of business groups from throughout the state went to Albany to push for the governor’s proposed 2 percent property tax cap. I applaud these business organizations and concerned citizens throughout the state for standing together. By passing the property tax cap, we can start to take control of the recklessly high spending and sky-high tax increases throughout Central New York.

However, with the property tax cap must come mandate relief. New York State regularly requires school districts, local governments, and other local taxing districts to fund and administer unfunded mandated programs. If enacted without additional provisions, a tax cap might not yield the savings taxpayers deserve. The tax cap will protect citizens from tax hikes, but without mandate relief, the biggest cost drivers on school districts and local governments will remain.

From my early discussions with our local officials, there are many Albany-imposed rules, such as paperwork-filing mandates, that can easily be lifted to reduce the high costs on local governments and schools. As your voice in the state capital, I want to hear more of your specific mandate reforms and ways Albany can lift mandates to provide relief for local governments, schools, and taxpayers. I encourage residents to e-mail me their ideas at or share them with me online at Facebook, or by contacting either my district or Albany offices.

It is imperative that the governor and legislature work together to deliver mandate relief with a property tax cap to prevent further damage to a struggling New York economy. I intend to propose your recommendations to Governor Cuomo’s Mandate Redesign Team and continue to fight for their enactment during the ongoing budget discussions.

A property tax cap with serious mandate relief will become a catalyst to lift the burden from local taxpayers and force Albany to pay for what it passes. Please join with me by sharing your ideas, recommendations, and suggestions on mandate relief to allow New York to grow, thrive, and become a national leader once again.