What's New

Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications

January 9, 2008

Governor pushes for tax reform, property tax cap

Governor's second State of the State also calls for increased taxpayer investment in schools, infrastructure

Urging New York to pursue its goals aggressively without overlooking the state's fiscal challenges, Governor Eliot Spitzer today outlined an agenda to improve the state's business climate and job growth, schools, universities, health care system, and tax burden.

"We can't abandon our ambition to pursue our goals at full throttle. On the other hand, we must adapt to the fiscal realities that are now upon us," the Governor said in his annual State of the State message. "We must make the hard choices necessary to live within our means – recognizing that every choice must help the people of New York invent a better future.”

The address did not provide details on many of his proposals, leaving that for the Governor's budget message on January 22.

Property-tax cap: The Governor proposed a bipartisan commission that would advance a package of reforms addressing the root of the property tax problems. The commission, which will be led by Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi, will look at unfunded mandates on both school districts and municipalities. The commission is also charged with proposed ideas on making tax relief system “fairer” to the middle class taxpayer.

"Wherever I go, I hear the same thing: property taxes are too high. We cannot grow if property taxes continue to force young people out of the state and our seniors out of their homes. Together, we have tried to address this crisis," Governor Spitzer said.

"A rebate check may temporarily ease the pain, but it doesn't cure the disease. In the end, it's a losing game for the taxpayer if the state gives you a rebate check on Monday and then on Tuesday your local government taxes it away."

"A tax cap is a blunt instrument, but it forces hard choices and discipline when nothing else works. When combined with real reform of unfunded mandates and a blueprint for providing a high quality education at a more affordable cost, a cap will allow us to invest wisely in our schools while achieving the goal of controlling property taxes."

Key proposals advanced by the Governor include:

Schools and higher education

Health Care

Paid family leave

Other economic proposals