Corwin Calls For Immediate Action On Property Tax Cap

June 16, 2011
Assemblywoman Jane Corwin (R,C,I – Clarence) today called on the Assembly leadership to immediately bring up for a vote legislation to enact a property tax cap with substantive mandate relief. With just two regularly-scheduled days remaining in this year’s legislative session, Corwin says the Assembly must take the lead on passing this vital tax-relieving measure, which recent polls have shown is the number one priority of New Yorkers, and that any cap enacted needs to include relief for schools and local governments from Albany-imposed unfunded mandates.

“As representatives of the people, it would be completely irresponsible for the Assembly to conclude this year’s regularly-scheduled legislative session without addressing the most important issue to New Yorkers – a property tax cap,” said the assemblywoman. “Additionally, our schools and local governments, which already are mitigating their budgets due to reduced state funding this year, need relief from the unfunded, antiquated mandates imposed by Albany in order to ensure uninterrupted services and the continued high-quality education our children deserve. We need a property tax cap and mandate relief before state lawmakers leave Albany for the summer.”

On May 24, 2011, the governor, assembly speaker and temporary president of the senate announced a three-way agreement on a two percent property tax cap. At the time, the governor stated that the final legislation would closely mirror the assembly speaker’s version of the cap, Assembly Bill 7916, despite the fact that his original version of the bill, A.3982/S.2706, had been passed in the senate in January. However, since this announcement, no legislation has been introduced nor has any action been made in the Assembly on any existing property tax cap bills.

Furthermore, the balance of the governor’s 2010-11 State Budget hinges on the enactment of mandate relief; yet, to date, no substantial mandates have been lifted, leaving schools and local governments (including police, fire and other emergency services) in a bind. In fact, no legislation addressing this concern has been introduced or announced.

To help identify mandates that could be lifted, or funded by the state instead of schools or local governments, as well as help reduce other state expenses, the governor created the Spending and Government Efficiency Commission (SAGE), the Medicaid Redesign Team and the Mandate Relief and Redesign Team. Assemblywoman Corwin was appointed as one of just two members from the Assembly to serve on the SAGE Commission. Thousands of cost-savers have been identified and submitted by local governments, schools, state agencies and individual lawmakers.

As a member of the SAGE Commission, and as the voice of the residents and employers in the 142nd Assembly District, Assemblywoman Corwin is calling on the governor, and legislative leaders, to pass both a property tax cap and enact mandate relief before this year’s June 20 end-of-session deadline.