Hawley Calls On Assembly To Return To Albany, Enact Property Tax Relief

A Column from Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R-I-C – Batavia)

Property taxes are undoubtedly the number one reason why our state is suffering. Unfortunately, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has neglected to bring property tax relief to the table, despite an overwhelming need to address this crucial issue. There are a number of property tax relieving measures introduced in the State Legislature. I applaud the State Senate’s decision to return to Albany to finish this important, currently unfinished, business and I am calling on Speaker Silver to follow the Senate’s lead and bring the Assembly back into session so that we can address and enact legislation to deliver the property tax relief we so desperately need.

I support legislation to deliver property tax relief and have been urging my colleagues in the Assembly to bring this important legislation to the floor for a vote. Through my many town hall meetings here in the district, I have listened to the concerns of our community and have brought that message back to Albany. And the message is that we need tax relief now.

Some of the bills out there include legislation to create a “circuit breaker,” which protects taxpayers by limiting the amount of property taxes a homeowner would pay based upon the total income of the household, or to create a cap on property taxes. Circuit breaker proposals are especially important to address in order to protect senior homeowners from skyrocketing year-to-year increases in property taxes. Both of these initiatives are supported by the majority of New York State residents, according to a variety of recent polls. Both initiatives are also supported by the independent State Commission on Property Tax Relief. These initiatives are also supported by the leadership in both houses of the State Legislature, as well as over 70 local governments statewide and the Governor.

With so much support for these types of legislation and with the urgent need to enact tax-relieving measures for homeowners and businesses, it is outrageous to think that one man is standing between New Yorkers and tax relief. Sadly, this is currently a reality and will continue to be until Speaker Silver calls the Assembly back into session. In fact, this one man has publicly stated that he “has no plans” to return to Albany at all.

New York State needs leaders who are not afraid to lead, not afraid to step in front of an issue and do what is best for their communities. I have taken the lead many times for Western New York and I will continue to ensure our voices are heard in Albany and our concerns are addressed. I am asking for you to join me and many of my colleagues in calling on Speaker Silver to bring the Assembly back into session. Please join me in writing to Speaker Silver at 250 Broadway, Suite 2307, New York, NY 10007 or calling him at (212) 312-1420.