As you may have heard by now, yesterday there was a three way agreement reached on a property tax cap for residents and businesses in New York.  While they are still working out some details, this is a great opportunity for our taxes to stabilize and ultimately go down.

While this is not a perfect cap, it will be stronger than every other state. The bottom line is that it will help (not completely fix) control the rate of taxation that has driven businesses and homeowners out of Upstate. So what are the details?  Here is what we can share:

  • A 2 percent cap
  • A 60% majority can override the cap
  • If a budget is voted down twice, then a flat budget is put in place
  • Provide a carryover provision of up to 1.5 percent from one year to the next of any amount in which the previous year’s levy was below that year’s limit;
  • Allow local governments and school districts to adjust the tax levy upward if there is physical or quantity growth in the property base;
  • Include a tax base growth factor to account for any increase in the full value of taxable real property; and
  • Exempt pension payments over two percent from the previous year and court orders and judgments that exceed five percent of the total levy from the previous year.

That is truly great news for all of us.  And I want to thank all of you for your support on this critical issue for the future of New York.  While we took a lead on this, we achieve success  together.

Unshackle Upstate Executive Director Brian Sampson with Governor Andrew Cuomo

Our work is not done.  We must see this agreement to the final step of the process and that is passage in both houses and a signature from the Governor.  And as we have shared many times, we must continue to push for mandate relief for our local governments.

Again, I am humbled by the support from all of you on this issue and am happy to call you a partner.  Let’s keep working together so that we can carry this momentum through 2011 and into 2012.