Westchester taxpayers pay the highest property taxes in the nation. We need to stop increasing and start decreasing already too high property taxes.
For immediate relief, since 60% of the burden comes from taxes levied to pay for our schools, we need to restore fair state aid for our schools. We need to change the arcane and politically-constructed school aid formula that gives more help to Nassau County than Westchester.
We need a circuit-breaker to limit all property taxes to reasonable levels.
For the long term we need to reform the system.
We need to shift from relying so heavily on property taxes to support local services. As a County Legislator, I voted for Westchester to share its sales taxes with local governments and school districts. As an Assemblyman I will seek to substitute progressive, broad-based taxes for property taxes.
We also need to reform our unfair property tax assessment system. Properties of equal market value are taxed differently by different municipalities and within municipalities. Our tax system is riddled with loopholes. As County Legislator, I worked with local governments and school districts to develop a new approach to assessments and led the Westchester Legislature to approve it. As often happens with good ideas, it died in Albany. As an Assemblyman, I will again lead the charge for fairer assessments.