Not long ago, the city’s working- and middle-class homeowners gasped when they opened the mail to find new property tax assessments.
While the property tax rate in New York City hasn’t risen, our homeowners get slammed with exorbitant annual increases — many in my district in Queens saw hikes as high as $1,000 — because of a severely broken property-tax assessment system. These homeowners need relief to maintain a promise of affordability in New York City, which is why I support a 2% state property tax cap.
Our city can live under such a cap, just like every municipality, town and village in New York State has since 2011, where homeowners experience this respite from skyrocketing local levies.
Under the cap, increases in projected property taxes in localities are constrained. They can grow by only 2% or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower — unless the local council overrides the decision by a two-thirds vote.
As a result, not only do homeowners outside of the city enjoy lower tax bills, but by Fiscal Year 2020, they will have received $4.5 billion in additional state relief tied to the cap. Right now, city taxpayers don’t get a penny from those relief programs.
So extending the tax cap to New York City would help lift a burden both on families and on the city budget. For example, with a New York City cap in place, I would fully expect Gov. Cuomo to pick up the Medicaid growth that he’s proposed the city pay in this year’s budget; no county living under the property tax cap foots the bill for Medicaid growth.
There is something wrong when a mayor who preaches the gospel of affordability wants to balance the budget on the backs of working- and middle-class families.
The State Senate already voted for a 2% tax cap for New York City. I urge my colleagues in the Assembly to do the same to help struggling homeowners cope with costs, to keep New York affordable and to finally let 44% of New York taxpayers receive their fair share from the state.