McKevitt Calls For Property Taxpayer Protection

May 16, 2007

With skyrocketing property taxes, forcing many residents and businesses to leave our state and region, Assemblyman Tom McKevitt (R,C,I-East Meadow) today joined his Assembly Minority colleagues to call on the Assembly Majority to pass the New York State Property Taxpayer Protection Act.

McKevitt said New York’s property taxes are out of control, forcing many residents and businesses to flee to other states, thus slowing the economic engine of the Empire State.

“The reality is that Long Island families are being crushed by the high property taxes being levied on them,” said McKevitt. “Our seniors are having to decide between food, prescription medicine and paying their property taxes, young people are living the American dream elsewhere because they are finding it difficult to purchase homes and raise a family and businesses are facing immense challenges to create and retain jobs. It should not have to be this way – we can do better.”

McKevitt said that the proposal aims to limit the property tax burden on homeowners and businesses. It prevents school district property tax levies from increasing by more than 4 percent each year or the rate of inflation, whichever is less, and provides voters with the ability to override this limitation by a 2/3 majority vote.

Other facets of the Property Taxpayer Protection Act:

  • Require any state mandate that is imposed on a locality and costs more than $10,000 annually (or $1 million statewide) to be funded by the state;
  • Require the fiscal impact of legislation to be stated before a bill is voted upon by the Legislature;
  • Provide 100 percent reimbursement to schools for costs incurred from 4th and 8th grade Math and English tests, starting in the 2008-09 school year;
  • Consolidate school district paperwork requirements, saving time and money;
  • Require the state to take over the costs of all optional Medicaid services within 5 years, saving $10 billion;
  • Provide money for counties to buy software for Medicaid fraud investigations;
  • Create an Office of State Inspector General for Education to investigate financial abuse, corruption and misconduct in schools;
  • Encourage consolidation of local services by providing $30 million in Metro-STAR grants; and
  • Support local option insurance pooling to cut costs.

McKevitt said had the tax levy limit been in place in 2006, taxpayers statewide would have saved almost $1.3 billion. However, if enacted, it is estimated that it will save homeowners and businesses $1.5 billion by limiting the growth of the school property tax levy for the 2008-09 school year.