Assembly Democrats will not take up their tax-cap proposal without strengthening and extending the state’s expiring rent-control regulations, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said today.
Speaking in the Capitol following a presentation on the University at Buffalo’s expansion plans, Silver said the two issues are “inextricably linked” as the 2011 legislative session winds down. The Assembly proposal, now backed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, allows the 2 percent cap to sunset when a new set of rent regulations expire, and allows certain exemptions for pension increases over 2 percent and for certain growth provisions.
“I think taking out the sunset would be a mistake,” Silver said. “We do hundreds of bills with sunsets because we’re never sure we’re doing the right thing, fixing it in terms of exactness, and we always want the opportunity to review. Now obviously, it’s a lot harder to just review immediately or a year or two down the road, so you set a specific time when you review.”
Silver said his proposal “works for the people of this state.”
“I believe it hits all of the issues,” he said. “It gives certainty, it keeps property taxes affordable to people in their homes. It gives certainty to businesses as well, as to what level their property taxes can and will rise.”
All eyes now turn to the Senate, which has expressed concern about allowing a cap to expire. Silver said he spoke to Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos, who told him the Assembly proposal is “a good bill” but didn’t endorse it.
In a brief gaggle with reporters, Skelos said the jury is still out on an expiration date for the cap.
“We have three weeks to go, so discussions will go on,” Skelos said. “There’s no conclusion as to the expiration date, if there’s an expiration date. But the positive is we’re going to have a tax cap in New York state.”