Galef Declares Her Support for Tax Cap Legislation

Assemblywoman favors Senate’s passed version of bill
August 5, 2010

New York State Assemblywoman Sandy Galef (90th District) has declared that she supports the property tax cap legislation voted on by the New York State Senate on August 3, 2010. The Senate passed the cap by a vote of 51-8.

The proposed tax cap would provide relief to New York property taxpayers by limiting tax levy growth to four percent or 120 per cent of Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is less. Specifically, the legislation calls for amendments to the real property tax law and education laws that limit tax levies of local governments and school districts. The Assembly equivalent of the legislation voted on by the Senate, bill A41005, has been referred to the Ways and Means Committee (8/03/10) and awaits Assembly action. Galef yesterday sent a letter to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver indicating her support of the cap legislation and requesting that he bring the bill to the floor of the Assembly for a vote.

“My constituents are feeling the pressure of high property taxes and that we need to find a solution such as the tax cap to reverse our course of spending in New York,” said Galef. “I am a supporter of a tax cap for this state because I believe it will force us to change our approach as to how we spend our tax dollars.”

Responses to questions in Assemblywoman Galef’s Fall 2008 newsletter demonstrated the burden taxpayers in her district were feeling, with 80 percent responding that what they paid in property taxes was unfair when compared with their household income. Constituents also supported a tax cap, with 88 percent of the respondents in favor, and 62 percent believing that the lesser of four percent on the tax levy or 120 percent of CPI would be reasonable as the way to determine the capped amount.

“It is clear that many of my constituents feel that the proposed Senate legislation is sensible, that many of them are feeling the pressures of property taxes that are too high, and that this issue must be addressed in some way,” Assemblywoman Galef stated when discussing her support for a tax cap. “Several states already have tax caps in place, such as Massachusetts and New Jersey, and the state of Connecticut is discussing the possibility of a tax cap. The legislation does allow voters to override the cap in their locality if they so choose. The tax cap can be an effective way to deal with the extremely high property taxes we face in New York State.”