In a radio interview last week, Gov. Cuomo predicted the state will have a surplus in the state’s 2014-15 fiscal year, which begins on April 1, 2014. A surplus could become a reality if the state continues to limit spending, and the Governor promised to use the money for property-tax relief. Current state budget figures project a $1.7 billion deficit for the 2014-15 state fiscal year.
In early October, Gov. Cuomo appointed the Tax Relief Commission, which was tasked with “identifying ways to reduce the State’s property and business taxes to provide relief to New York’s homeowners and businesses.” That Commission is expected to release its findings and recommendations in early December.
The Governor suggested that he may seek to enact a property tax “circuit breaker,” which ties property taxes to incomes. Such a program is estimated to cost between $1 and $2 billion annually. But a “circuit breaker” is not tax relief. It is simply reshuffling the tax burden so that yes, some may pay less, but others will pay more. And it does nothing to stop the long-term cost drivers from continuing to escalate each and every year.