Weekly Feature

2011-02-10 / Local News

Kennedy, Senate approve property tax cap

Sen. Timothy M. Kennedy, D-West Seneca, expressed his support last week for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s property tax cap program bill by co-sponsoring the legislation to help push the tax cap through the Senate.

According to Kennedy, the program will cap the growth of property taxes at 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less, while Western New York families and businesses currently struggle under the largest tax burden in the nation.

It was an important step forward, he said, in his “bipartisan efforts” to combat the state’s skyrocketing taxes.

“Since 1977, New York has had the highest combined state-local tax burden in the nation for every year but three, and property taxes have continued to soar,” said Kennedy.

Increased taxes have outpaced wage growth and the rate of inflation, he said, adding that the side effects have been economic decline and rapid population loss.

“During the last three decades, over 100,000 people have fled Erie County — that’s nearly 10 percent of our population,” the senator added.

The property tax cap vote comes one week after Kennedy launched the Senate Democrats’ “renewed focus” on providing relief to New York taxpayers.

At a Jan. 24 press conference, Kennedy had called for a property tax cap, mandate relief and targeted, direct property tax relief to middle class families.

Kennedy said Monday that the “passage of the property tax cap is only a first step,” but he is hopeful for additional strides to be made while working with Cuomo.

Also on Monday, Kennedy voted in favor of new legislation that would reportedly stop the state from pushing any new, unfunded mandates upon school districts and local governments.

For more information, visit online at www.nysenate.gov/senator/ timothy-kennedy.

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