Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today traveled to Monroe County to sign New York's first property tax cap..
The tax cap, a hallmark of Governor Cuomo's campaign and a priority of his administration's first year, will finally deliver relief to millions of homeowners and business owners across the state who for too long have been burdened by out-of-control property taxes..
Governor Cuomo signed the property tax cap at the home of Mike and Amanda Ostrander in Irondequoit. Like many taxpayers in Monroe County, the Ostranders, parents of two children, have made sacrifices to afford the state's skyrocketing property taxes. Mike is an attorney and Amanda is an Adult literacy teacher who also volunteers at a local day care. They pay nearly $5,000 annually in property taxes, well above the median property tax bill in New York state. This law will provide meaningful tax relief to the Ostrander family and other homeowners across New York..
"Families like the Ostranders in Monroe County and across the state have dealt with overwhelming property taxes for far too long," Governor Cuomo said. "This cap brings much-needed relief from the crushing tax burden that has hindered businesses and driven families out of New York. It will help revitalize the state's economy and send a message to the rest of the country that New York is no longer the tax capital of the nation.".
Taxpayers in Monroe County, like the Ostranders, pay among the highest property taxes in the nation, with a median property tax bill of 3,585 per household. Based on 2009 census data, Monroe County residents pay property taxes equal to 2.89 percent of the value of their home, some of the highest in the nation. In comparison, the median U.S. property tax bill is $1,917, while in New York the median property tax bill is $3,755. .
Under the new law, property tax increases will be capped at 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. Local communities and local voters could override the cap with a 60 percent vote on the budget for school boards or relevant legislative bodies..
Senator Jim Alesi said, "I commend Governor Cuomo for his strong leadership and political courage to lower to the cost of homeownership for hardworking, overburdened taxpayers. Through his perseverance and cooperative approach, Governor Cuomo has produced tax relief that the vast majority of homeowners have been hoping for. I am proud to be a co-sponsor of the Senate tax-cap bill and I congratulate the governor on his success.".
Assemblyman Joe Morelle said, "In his state of the state address, Governor Cuomo took aim at New York's excessive property taxes and promised homeowners and businesses that help was on the way. Through his great leadership and determination the governor has delivered on that promise. Here in Monroe County, where we have the highest property taxes in the country, and all across New York, this will be remembered as the moment when we took decisive action to halt the Empire State's decline.".
This cap on property taxes includes safeguards to ensure delivery of critical services for New Yorkers. There will be limited exceptions to the cap, including:
* Judgments or court orders arising out of tort actions that exceed 5 percent of the localities' levy
* Certain growth in pension costs where the system's average rate increases by more than 2 percentage points from the previous year; the amount of contributions above the 2 percentage points will be excluded from the limit
* Growth in tax levies due to economic development .
The new law institutes a property tax cap to protect homeowners and businesses from skyrocketing property tax hikes for the first time in New York history. For more than 15 years, both houses of the Legislature along with three governors have talked about a property tax cap for New York's overburdened homeowners with no results. New York's property taxes are among the highest taxes in the nation:
* The median U.S. property tax paid is $1,917; in New York, it's $3,755 -- 96 percent higher than the national average
* As a percentage of personal income, New York has the highest local taxes in the nation -- 79 percent above the national average
* From 1998 to 2008, property tax levies in New York grew by more than 73 percent -- more than twice the rate of inflation during that span
* Companies pay five times more in property taxes than they do in corporate taxes
* New York -- especially Upstate New York -- continues to hemorrhage population and jobs at a greater rate than the national average .