Statement From Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. (R,I,C,WF-Sag Harbor)

December 3, 2008
Yesterday, the State Commission on Property Tax Relief issued its final report to Governor Paterson and the state Legislature. This report provided many thoughtful recommendations that I am in support of. The main recommendation is the need for a property tax cap. As one of the initial supporters of the cap, I am encouraged that the Commission, as well as the Governor, is continuing its support of this measure. I am also in support of the Commission’s recommendation to promote school consolidation. I am currently drafting a bill based on a Maine law recently passed which will provide for such consolidation. Finally, I support the Commission’s finding that unfunded mandates are a large part of high property taxes and that they need to be eliminated.

During this legislative session, I joined my colleagues in the Assembly Minority Conference in support of legislation, ‘New York State Property Taxpayers Protection Act’, which would enact a property tax cap. Unfortunately, Speaker Silver and his conference decided to block our legislation. This is a typical example of partisanship in the Assembly. The Governor, Senate Majority and the Assembly Minority support the tax cap but, for some reason, Speaker Silver has decided that he wants to prevent it from becoming a reality.

The time for partisan bickering has ended and the time to ensure that the citizens of New York State receive the property tax relief they need and deserve is here. I am looking forward to working with the Governor and my colleagues in the Legislature to work toward meaningful real property tax relief that New Yorkers will actually be able to see.