Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications

For Release — June 22, 2011

Business Council says property tax cap completes a positive legislative session

ALBANY— “The passage of a property tax cap is great news for all New Yorkers. It sends a signal to business leaders that the state is prepared to control the cost of government and begin to rebuild our private sector economy,” said Heather Briccetti, acting-president & CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc. “The property tax cap has long been a priority of The Business Council. We believe it will contain the growth of local government spending and ultimately make New York more afforadable for homeowners and businesses.”

The Business Council pointed out that property owners in New York State 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 increased from $25 to $28 or 12 percent.

“This cap will stop property tax increases well above the rate of inflation, which has been too common in the past,” added Briccetti. “The passage of the cap completes a very positive legislative session in which much of Governor Andrew Cuomo's and The Business Council's fiscal reform agenda became real.”

Other highlights of the session include: the passage of a state budget with no new broad-based taxes, caps on future Medicaid and school aid spending, improvements in the Excelsior Jobs program, a new Article X siting law for power generation and the creation of the Recharge NY economic development power program.

The Business Council added that work remains to be done to lower the cost of government by providing additional mandate relief to schools and local governments and to bring down the tax burden on New Yorkers.

“In his State of the State message Gov. Cuomo said New York was at a crossroads. With his leadership the state legislature chose the right path and moved in an new direction that will put New York on the path to prosperity,” said Briccetti.