State Commission Recommends Tying Property Tax Breaks to Tax Cap & Consolidation
A tax commission appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo has released a report calling for tax relief for homeowners if local governments and schools stay within the state’s property-tax cap.
The tax commission which included former Republican Governor George Pataki and former Democratic Comptroller Carl McCall released multiple recommendations to ease the property tax burden which is the highest in the nation.
Tying the property tax breaks to the state imposed property tax cap puts pressure on local municipalities and school districts to stay within the property-tax cap.
If schools and local governments stay within the cap over the next two years, homeowners would see a tax credit equal to the growth in property taxes. That means property owners would see no tax increases over two years.
The commission also recommended that if local governments show movement toward consolidation taxpayers in those communities would see an additional tax rebate.
The two year tax relief plan would be paid for with a $2 billion dollar state budget surplus, the first budget surplus in several years.
In the long-term the commission has recommended lawmakers tie property taxes to household income, the measure is known as a circuit breaker, supporters say it would be a more equitable way for homeowners to pay for property taxes.
State Senator Jim Seward applauded the tax Commission recommendations, he says he has been pushing for many of the reforms endorsed by the tax commission.
Seward says he is also focused on state mandate relief which will help ease pressure on local governments and property taxes as well.
Seward did say that the legislature also needs to get state spending in check as part of any tax relief plan; he supports a state spending cap.
The commission report recommends and immediate phase out of an energy assessment on businesses in New York, the charge is particularly onerous for manufactures, the energy tax hits businesses with a 2 percent assessment on electric, gas, water and steam usage. It is set to expire in 2018.
Another recommendation of the commission is to increase the estate tax exemption threshold from $1 million to $5.2 million.