Cuomo: No budget deal without a permanent tax cap

Legislative Gazette photo by Dylan Hirsh
Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks with reporters in the Capitol earlier this month about his priorities for the 2020 budget, with a permanent property tax cap at the top of his list. He renewed the call for a tax cap on Long Island yesterday.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo met with the full delegation of Long Island senators for a rally at Clinton G. Martin Park in New Hyde Park on Sunday in support of a permanent 2 percent property tax cap. Earlier this month, the governor vowed he will not sign a budget without the permanent property tax included while outlining his remaining budget priorities.

“Washington’s tax plan took care of the rich, but cast the burden on states like New York and did nothing for the middle class,” Cuomo said. “In this budget we are taking action so we can say to the middle class, we hear you, we know your pain, we know you’re struggling, and this hand will not sign a budget that does not have a permanent tax cap, period.”

In 2011, Gov. Cuomo vowed to bring property taxes under control once and for all. After years of trying to cap property taxes, New York passed the first ever 2 percent property tax cap. Since the implementation of the tax cap in 2012, local property tax growth has averaged 1.9 percent, compared to 5.3 percent average growth from 2000 to 2010, and the tax cap has produced approximately $8.7 billion in taxpayer savings on Long Island and $24.4 billion statewide, according to the Governor’s Office.

During a budget update in the Capitol earlier this month, Cuomo spoke with reporters about the priorities he says must be included in the final budget which is due on April 1. Cuomo said his most pressing issues are making the property tax cap permanent, reforming and funding the MTA, ensuring fairness in the state’s criminal justice system and enacting ethics reform for elected officials and state employees.

Cuomo stressed that these measures must be included in the final budget, and if they are not, he will not be signing it.

“When people complain about high taxes in New York State it’s not the state income tax… it’s the property tax. Two and a half times, on average, what you pay for the income tax. A permanent tax cap would save most New Yorkers $30,000 over the next 10 years,” Cuomo said.

According to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2018, New York State has the highest rate of decrease in population, estimating the state has lost 48,510 residents between July 1, 2017, and July 1, 2018.

“At some point people say, ‘I can’t afford this cost of living. And I can move to another state that has the advantages. I can still come to New York just shy of six months [out of every] year and enjoy New York, but not pay the cost.’

“I’m afraid we’re at that tipping point, I’m afraid that’s why we see the decline in revenues,” Cuomo said.

Photo courtesy of the Governor’s Office
Gov. Andrew Cuomo was on Long Island to meet with lawmakers there on Sunday, March 24. The governor said he will not sign a state budget without a permanent property tax cap included in the plan.