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For Release — Feb. 23, 2011

Business Council says spiraling property taxes show need for cap

ALBANY— Despite falling property values in many places, New Yorkers paid $2.3 billion more in property taxes in 2010 than they did in 2009, according to an analysis by the Public Policy Institute, the research affiliate of The Business Council of New York State, Inc.

Property owners in New York Sate paid a staggering $48 billion in property taxes in 2010, up five percent from 2009. The 2009 increase over 2008 was six percent. Businesses paid nearly 44 percent of the total tax levy, $21 billion, by far the largest non-federal tax on private sector employers.

While the property tax levy was increasing, total real estate values in New York fell by 6 percent in 2010 from 2009, according to AOL Real Estate, meaning the average tax per $1,000 of true property values increase from $25 to $28 or 12 percent.

“Skyrocketing property taxes are smothering jobs in New York. Businesses and homeowners cannot go on paying a property tax burden that is increasing faster than the rate of inflation while property values fall,” said Heather Briccetti, acting-president & CEO of The Business Council.

“To put New York on a path to prosperity and job creation we need to enact Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed property tax cap now and at the same time provide local governments and school districts with meaningful mandate relief so they can reduce government spending,” added Briccetti. “Current spending and taxing levels in New York are unsustainable and kill jobs. Proposed circuit-breakers won't fix the problem because they just shift an unbearable tax burden from one set of taxpayers to another. A circuit-breaker, like the STAR program, simply masks continued growth in spending and taxes.”

The Business Council pointed out that the State Senate has already approved the measure. The Business Council is waging an e-advocacy effort to allow New Yorkers to urge their Assembly members to enact the bill. The campaign can be found here.

“New York must lower the cost of government and deliver services in a more efficient and affordable fashion,” concluded Briccetti.

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