Scott Burto, the Republican-turned-Democrat mayor of West Carthage, Jefferson County, sent a letter to Sen. Patricia Ritchie over concerns that lawmakers aren’t taking on onerous state mandates.
From Burto’s letter:
“Until we reform the cost drivers and mandates that have led to high property taxes, we will not be able to continue to provide essential services under the 2% cap. Residents have made it apparent they want essential services that municipalities provide but in a cost effective manner. The New York State Senate should have consulted with the affected governments before passage of a tax cap, another mandate on local municipalities, and address the existing mandates driving up tax rates. Although you did address future mandates, nothing has been done to allow us, as local leaders, to take steps at reducing the tax burden on local property owners.”
The Republican-led Senate approved a cap on the annual growth in property taxes at 2 percent or the rate of inflation. Municipal leaders have said that a reduction in required spending approved in Albany must be dealt with before a property -tax cap can be approved.
The Democratic-led Assembly is yet to take up the property tax cap bill.
Local governments and school districts deal with a variety of mandates governing labor contracts and health-care costs, among others.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a strong backer of the cap, has said significant mandate relief likely won’t be in the final budget plan, including a freeze of the Triborough Amendment to the Taylor Law.