Governor Andrew Cuomo predicted Tuesday that the state will have a surplus next fiscal year, and he vowed to use the money for property-tax relief.
State budget figures this month estimated a $1.7 billion deficit for the fiscal year that starts April 1, but Cuomo said there "will be in essence a surplus for next year—if we hold the line on spending."
Cuomo hinted that he may seek to tie property taxes to incomes, known as a circuit breaker. Unions and liberal groups have long pushed for the program, saying that homeowners should be paying taxes based on their incomes, not what their homes are worth. A circuit breaker program has come with an estimated price tag of $1 billion to $2 billion a year.
Ronald Deutsch, executive director of New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness, said the group estimates that there are about 700,000 households in New York who earn less than $100,000 and pay 10 percent or more of their income in property taxes.
The state already has a STAR program that gives New Yorkers a break on their school property taxes, averaging about $700 a year for those who earn less than $500,000 a year.
Cuomo has a tax commission that expects to release its findings early next month on ways to trim New York’s taxes. E.J. McMahon, president of the Empire Center for New York State Policy, said spending more state money to offset tax increases is the wrong policy. He thinks The state should be lowering income taxes instead.
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