Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,I,C – Batavia) is urging legislative leaders to make controlling property taxes the number one priority of the remaining weeks of the 2011 Legislative Session. The Tax Foundation recently released a study that shows homeowners in Orleans, Niagara, Monroe and Genesee counties face a property tax burden ranked in the top ten nationally, based on percentage of median home value. Orleans, Niagara and Monroe occupy the top three spots respectively, while Genesee comes in eighth.
“To see all four counties in the 139th Assembly District paying some of the highest property taxes in the nation should serve as a loud and clear reminder to legislative leaders that we have no greater priority during this year’s session than to provide property tax relief to Western New York families and businesses, coupled with mandate relief for local governments and school districts,” said Hawley. “Furthermore, 22 out of the 25 highest-taxed counties are found in Upstate New York. State government has placed Upstate’s economy at a massive, competitive disadvantage by increasing costs on localities and has forced families out of the homes they spent their entire lives working to build. I have consistently supported implementing a property tax cap that will re-open Upstate New York for business and embrace the homeowners that have built their lives here, and I urge my colleagues in state government to join me in putting all of their energy behind this measure.”
Hawley is a co-sponsor of multiple bills to cap property taxes under consideration in the Assembly. While skyrocketing property taxes must be addressed immediately, so must the contributing factors that have led to such crushing levies.
“The cost-drivers handed down from Albany to local governments are a ploy to support unsustainable levels of spending,” said Hawley. “The passage of a property tax cap is not only crucial for homeowners, but it is also a vital component of the fight to repeal unfunded mandates that force localities to raise taxes year after year. The property tax crisis is truly symptomatic of New York’s most crippling problem – an unending appetite for spending. Passing a property tax cap is not the end of a long struggle, but rather the first domino to fall that will bring down unfunded mandates and rein in state spending.”