Assembly Eyeing Pension Exemption, Sunset For Tax Cap

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The Democratic-led Assembly are in talks about making significant changes to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s property-tax cap proposal, Gannett reported this morning.

From the article:

Assembly Democrats are planning to introduce their own property tax cap proposal, and talks involve potentially excluding pension costs from the cap and having it expire in three to five years, some lawmakers said.

Some Assembly Democrats said the idea of letting the property tax cap sunset makes sense because of fears that a cap could devastate local governments and schools. Moreover, pension costs are planning to skyrocket, and the expense alone is predicted to exceed the cap amount.

“I think sunsetting it makes some sense,” said Assemblyman Joseph Morelle, D-Irondequoit, Monroe County. “It gives us the opportunity to come back in several years and review how it worked, what implications it had for local governments and how effective it has been in holding property taxes at a sustainable level.”

Cuomo said yesterday that while he’s willing to have discussions about a tax cap, he’s sticking to his proposal. But he hinted at the changes being sought by the Assembly, saying that “It’s fair to say that the Assembly believes that my proposal is too rigid and there should be more flexibility in it.”

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, indicated earlier this week that the Assembly plans to submit it’s own property-tax-cap bill, but didn’t offer specifics. The Buffalo News pointed out this morning that Silver wasn’t around yesterday because he was fundraising in Washington.

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