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Governor Cuomo’s Property Tax Cap Message

Statement by NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer

Gov. Cuomo’s video message Nov. 7 called attention to the property tax cap’s effectiveness in thus far holding down municipal property tax levies.

The property tax cap may well serve its intended purpose, but it’s going to come at a cost to educational programs and services in school districts, unless the state loosens its reins on school districts by providing significant mandate relief.

Lawmakers in Albany spent years passing mandate after mandate onto schools and local governments – and now with the property tax cap, the bill has come due.

We hope that the governor will use his popularity and political clout to address the true causes as to why the 15 highest taxed counties in the country are in New York. This means eliminating the mandates that take money out of our classrooms, helping schools operate more efficiently, and reforming the laws that micromanage our schools and drive up costs for taxpayers in the process.

If we are to simultaneously address the fiscal crisis and advance academic achievement as the governor proposes, we must focus resources on those things that improve results for kids. Mandate relief must become the focal point of New York’s agenda.