Cap Property Taxes And Cut Mandates At Same Time

February 11, 2011
This week, I renewed my call for mandate relief to be tied to a property tax cap in order to ensure that Western New York residents receive real tax relief Ė and the relief is needed. In 2010, the Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan research institute, determined that Niagara County was the second highest property-taxed county in the United States as a percentage of home value.

These sky-high property taxes are draining familiesí incomes and forcing many fixed-income seniors to move out of their homes. A property tax cap is a necessary first step to provide relief to Western New York taxpayers. A cap would first slow the growth of rapidly rising taxes and over the long-term lead to significantly lower taxes for Western New York homeowners.

However, a property tax cap must be accompanied by mandate relief for schools and local governments. Unfunded state mandates are a root cause of high property taxes and must be addressed before Albany bankrupts local governments, school districts, and the taxpayers who will be forced to bail them out.

On March 1, the governorís Mandate Relief Task Force will offer its recommendations on how to reduce or eliminate unfunded state mandates. I look forward to seeing the groupís recommendations and will work to implement those that will provide real relief to both localities and taxpayers.

Albany has forced Upstate homeowners to shoulder its irresponsible spending habits for far too long. Taxpayers have had enough. They want relief and deserve to have it in 2011.

John Ceretto
Member of the Assembly
138th District