Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, sounded very much in line with Gov. Andrew Cuomo during his remarks at the State of the State today—even pledging to work with him on capping property taxes.
Silver has resisted efforts to have a tax cap in the past, even after the measure has passed the Senate, both under Democratic and Republican rule.
Silver vowed to partner with Cuomo to reduce state spending and make it a more affordable place to live, including the tax cap. Silver in recent months has signaled that he would work with Cuomo on the measure.
“We can work together. We will work together,” Silver said.
Of course, Silver working with Cuomo on a tax cap is one thing. The results may be something different.
Cuomo wants to a 2 percent cap on the growth of property taxes with few exemptions—a tougher cap than even the Senate has passed, which as a 4 percent cap.
And there is likely to be a fight over what costs are excluded from the cap, which is being opposed by powerful education groups, unions and local governments—which want a tax cap coupled with mandate relief
Cuomo, in his speech, highlighted how Westchester County ranks first in the state in property taxes, while upstate counties rank the highest in the country in property taxes compared to home values.
He also highlighted a Monroe County woman, Geraldine Sullivan, who at 81 had to go back to work as a lunch monitor after retiring from Bausch and Lomb after 28 years in order to pay her taxes.
“It has to end. It has to end this year. We have to hold the line for taxes for now and reduce taxes in the future. New York has no future as the tax capital of the nation,” Cuomo said.