New Property Tax Cap Concerns Local Governments

Aug 15, 2013

Credit Donkey Hotey/Flickr

Communities across New York state that have struggled to meet the state’s 2 percent tax cap face a new challenge: the level of the cap has been lowered.

In 2011, the state legislature passed a law imposing a cap on property taxes. Property taxes cannot increase more than 2 percent OR the rate of inflation, whichever is lower. Since its inception, the cap has been 2 percent. The New York state Comptroller’s office has announced that for the 2014 fiscal year, municipalities across the state must meet a lower cap of 1.66 percent. Spokesman for Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli Brian Butry explains that this new cap is due to the decline in inflation.

Plattsburgh Mayor Republican Don Kasprzak is a member of the New York State Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officials. His concern is not so much the 1.66 percent cap, he says, it’s that Albany has yet to address unfunded mandates.

Essex County Board of Supervisors Chair Democrat Randy Douglas is also second vice president of the Association of Counties. He says communities have done their due diligence to meet the 2 percent cap and agrees it’s time for the state legislature and governor to provide relief.

Tupper Lake Mayor Paul Maroun, a Republican, is a member of the Franklin County Legislature.

The tax cap rate is adjusted annually for municipalities and local governments. School districts will be adjusted in January.  This is the first year the inflation rate is lower than the 2 percent cap, initiating the change.