property tax cap

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

Oswego city voters overwhelmingly approved a five percent tax cap on Election Day, and some lawmakers say they are on board with the new law, which they hope will bring more accountability and efficiency to the annual budget process.

Republican Fifth Ward Councilor Billy Barlow says he's excited to see the city's new five percent tax cap in place. But it isn't just about the city's taxpayers drawing a metaphorical line in the sand regarding the city's budget.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

On Tuesday the city of Oswego will decide whether it wants to bring back a five percent property tax cap, but many of the city's elected officials warn that it could come with some unintended consequences.

The proposed property tax cap would force Oswego to keep any tax increases to less than five percent. If the city raises taxes more than that, Oswego residents would have to vote to approve the budget. If that fails, the city must reduce the budget to keep the increase below the threshold.

via New York State Tax Department

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance is back at the New York State Fair this year. They had a very positive experience last year signing homeowners up for the STAR tax credit.

This year, Department Commissioner Tom Mattox says they’re taking it one step further by providing private assistance to resolve tax issues on the spot.

“Yesterday alone, we worked with a couple dozen taxpayers to resolve issues in real time," Mattox said. "Everything from eligibility for certain veterans exemptions to certain sales tax collection related issues."

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

Homeowners in the city of Oswego will be able to voice their opinions at a pubic hearing on a proposal to reinstate the city's five percent property tax cap. The original limit was removed in 2011, but after the city's common council approved a 43 percent property tax increase in December, support has been growing to bring it back.

But Oswego Mayor Tom Gillen says this year's tax hike was unavoidable.

Katie Keier / Flickr

Residents of school districts across the state go to the polls today to vote on budgets. These spending plans were created in the shadow of the state’s property tax cap program.

Most of the schools in New York state are offering budgets that keep tax increases below the state’s suggested two percent tax cap. These budgets are also increasing spending at an average rate of 2.6 percent.

To make up the difference, Tim Kremer, executive director of the New York State School Boards Association says most districts are dipping into savings.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Syracuse's Common Councilors are raising taxes in the city in a way they say won’t be painful.

Mayor Stephanie Miner’s proposed budget didn’t include any tax hikes, but the one the Common Council passed Wednesday does. The tax increase they are instituting is ultimately a wash because of a new state program that reimburses taxpayers for any tax increases they pay this year.

Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo enlisted the aid of some local government leaders to promote his tax freeze proposal, which has been losing ground in the New York state legislature.

Cuomo, surrounded by several county executives from across the state, promoted his plan, which is not supported in the state legislature. He says he’s signed up 150 local government leaders as supporters.

“It is a bold proposal, I understand that,” said Cuomo. He predicts the more people hear about it, the more they will support it.

Both houses of the legislature are making changes to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s tax freeze plan in their budget proposals. And now small business groups are speaking out, saying the proposal favors some homeowners at their expense.

The state Assembly’s budget replaces Cuomo’s plan to distribute widespread rebate checks to homeowners with an alternative to benefit New Yorkers who can least afford to pay their property taxes. The Senate is also making changes, even though Republicans in the majority say they still want to reduce property taxes.

There’s growing unease over Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s tax freeze plan.

One hundred local government officials have signed a letter opposing the plan, including Syracuse Mayor and state Democratic Party Co-Chairwoman Stephanie Miner, and there are signs that the legislature may modify what critics have called an overly complex proposal when the Senate and Assembly release their one house state budgets.

Lobby groups for the state’s counties, cities, and school boards are voicing numerous concerns. Tim Kremer, with the New York State School Boards Association, is one of them.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

Oswego's Common Council, mayor and department heads saw firsthand what Gov. Andrew Cuomo's 2014 agenda will look like, during a recent presentation of his State of the State address at city hall.

The mayor of the city of Oswego says in general he supports Cuomo's budget plan for 2014, but the city's Common Councilors say rising costs and unfunded mandates make it hard to stay within the state's two percent tax cap.

Assembly passes caps to lower taxes on farmers

Jun 19, 2013

The New York State Assembly passed a bill Tuesday that will cap agricultural land assessment increases at two percent a year.

Previously, agricultural property tax assessments were capped at 10 percent. But in just 15 years, property taxes doubled for family farms.

Voters in New York state go to the polls Tuesday to approve new school budgets. The New York State School Boards Association finds that many school districts are living within the limits imposed by a property tax cap enacted two years ago.

New York state's largest teachers union has filed a lawsuit challenging the state’s property tax cap, arguing it is unconstitutional.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Albany received an earful from hundreds of students, parents educators and community members Wednesday about recent cuts in funding for education. The "Educate New York Now Express" has been rolling across the state, picking up supporters and support for their plea to lawmakers to reinvest in public education.

Governor Andrew Cuomo is telling local governments they are on their own when it comes to coping with a recently imposed property tax cap, saying it is up to county and city government leaders to make the hard choices, and to stop complaining.

Mohawk Valley school districts consider merger

Oct 17, 2012

With dropping enrollments and less money coming from the state, many school districts across New York are looking into joining forces. That is the case in the Mohawk Valley near Utica, where a school merger is on the ballot this week.

woodleywonderworks / Flickr

As parents get ready to send their kids back to school all over upstate New York .... There are some new statewide educational changes are taking affect they may want to know about first.  

gordasm / Flickr

The state commission that is supposed to come up with answers to the problems in public education in New York is in the midst of a statewide fact-finding tour.  They are getting an earful about how to improve schools, including when they came through central New York Tuesday.

Expanding pre-kindergarten and spreading resources evenly among schools around the state are some of the major suggestions.

Cuomo defends property tax cap

Aug 7, 2012

Governor Andrew Cuomo was at Fort Drum yesterday, touring a former coal plant that's being converted to a biomass facility.  He responded to questions from reporters about the statewide property tax cap.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO file photo

Local governments continue struggling in the wake of the recession. At a Local Government Leadership Institute meeting in Syracuse Wednesday, officials looked for answers to  some of the problems they still face following the Wall Street meltdown.