Silver Nod Gives Cuomo Tax-Cap Breakthrough


andrew-cuomoAssembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) announced this morning support for a sweeping cap on local property taxes aand Gov. Cuomo quickly hailed the proposal.


Support from Silver – a fierce ally of the tax-cap foes, like the powerful teachers’ unions – constitutes a major breakthrough in one of the Democratic executive’s marquee initiatives. The cap would be linked to renewal of rent regulations on some one million city apartments.

“Hard-working families are saddled with some of the highest property taxes in the nation and need real relief in order to be able to live and raise their children in New York State,” Silver said. “With this legislation, we are finally able to bring property taxes under control and still provide critical services.”

The move puts big pressure on Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-L.I.), who Cuomo aides have privately accused of trying to stifle the cap, even though he has repeatedly vowed full support.

Cuomo, who has spent recent weeks travelling around the state in support of the plan, hailed it as “fantastic” during an appearance this morning on Talk 1300-AM.

“This is a very good plan, it really is,” Cuomo said. “I applaud the Assembly speaker for putting it forward. It’s exactly what we’ve been talking about for a long time and now we can actually make it a reality.”

Cuomo added in a clear reference to Skelos: “We’re now going to find out in Albany who’s for it and who’s not for it.”

Skelos spokesman Scott Reif called Silver’s proposal a “positive development.”

“We’re reviewing the bill now and will formally conference it later today, but it includes many of the things Senate Republicans have been pushing for three years, since we first passed a property tax cap,” Skelos said.

The powerful speaker would accept key elements of Cuomo’s proposal: A two-percent cap on annual growth in school and municipal property taxes that could only be overridden with a 60 percent vote.

The plan includes significant caveats, including a carve-out for soaring pension costs. It also would also be linked to renewal of city rent regulations, and like them, and sunset after a certain number of years.

Capitol observers were waiting to see how business groups, fiscal watchdogs and taxpayer groups, who had waged the years-long tax-cap fight would react to the proposal.

“The property tax-cap plan released today by the Assembly is very much in line with the plan developed by the governor and adopted by the Senate, suggesting that there should be quick agreement on this key piece of the governor’s fiscal responsibility agenda,” said Kathryn Wylde, president and CEO of the Partnership for NYC.

“The bill provides for a no-nonsense cap with limited exceptions that are well within the framework of reform that the business community has been calling for,” Wylde said.

{NY Post/ Newscenter}


  1. The loophole for pension payments make the cap nearly worthless. Notice how it sunsets after a few years also. just the same old corruption in Albany.