Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Future of the Property Tax Cap

Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, surprised a packed Convention Center on Wednesday afternoon when he signaled his willingness to embrace a property tax cap.
The cap, which has been passed by the senate at 4%, has never really been considered in the Assembly. During the 2010 election season the cap gained a lot of traction, but it didn't appear to have gained the support of Speaker Silver, who would basically decide what moved through his chamber. Now it looks like Silver, and by extension the Assembly, is ready to act.
But hold your horses say Republican lawmakers. "The devil is in the details," says Republican Senator Roy McDonald. He warns that Silver may not be prepared to do what is necessary to alleviate the tax burden of New Yorkers, which McDonald says is a 2% tax cap.
McDOnald, who wanted to give Silver the benefit of the doubt, said that Silver might embrace the 4% cap, which would fall short. Ultimately, though, he predicted the 2% cap would pass the Assembly, because that is what voters want.
Assemblyman George Amedore, R-Rotterdam, suggested this issue could be a bargaining position for the Speaker. He said Silver might trade in this chip for something else down the road.
Assemblyman Jim Tedisco took the cautiously optimistic approach saying, "I like what the speaker had to say, but I take it with a grain of salt, because actions speak louder than words.”

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