In a report released this afternoon, Gov. Andrew Cuomo declares the first year of the cap on the property-tax levy in New York a success. Ninety-five percent of school districts — 642 of 678 — and 81 percent of local governments that reported a proposed levy — 1,944 of 2,399 — stayed within the cap, according to the governor. All told, 84 percent of the 3,077 local governments and school districts stayed within the capped amount.
The property-tax cap is 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less, with limited exemptions. It was 2 percent the first year and will continue at that amount since the inflation factor is nearly 3 percent, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli recently reported. The governor proposed the cap, and the Legislature passed the bill in June 2011.
The median property tax paid by New York homeowners is $4,090, twice the national median of $2,043, the governor said. Westchester and Rockland counties have among the highest property-tax bills in the country. The median in Westchester is $9,945, the highest in the nation, and $8,861 in Rockland, the fourth highest, according to the national Tax Foundation.
This is a quote from Cuomo’s on the report:
“For years, out of control spending drove property taxes higher and higher, forcing families and businesses out of our state. New York had no future as the tax capital of the nation, and last year people in all corners of the state came together to help us put in place the property tax cap which empowers communities to take control of their own spending and tax levies. One year later, it is clear that the property tax cap has been a tremendous success, saving hard-earned money for New York families while ensuring that local governments learn to do more with less.”
Nearly 93 percent of school districts presented budgets that were at or below the allowable tax-levy increase under the cap, the report said. Voters approved 99.2 percent of the budgets on the first try. Districts have to report proposed levies to the state Comptroller’s Office, but local governments do not. The 3,077 local governments and districts the report is based on represent 78 percent of all municipal governments and school systems in the state.
Capping Propertytax Report