Cuomo and Assembly GOP agree: make tax cap permanent

Gov. Andrew Cuomo hopscotched from Buffalo to Long Island and points in between in a series of press conferences on Thursday and Friday to preach “tax fairness for the middle class” – a two-part campaign that included making permanent the state’s eight-year-old cap on property-tax increases.

Actually, the third-term, Democratic governor talked about lots of other things during his stop in Westchester County on Friday, from the new federal limit on income-tax deductions for state and local taxes to the Amazon headquarters he had courted for Queens. But one idea he was ostensibly there to promote was the perpetuation of the cap, which was enacted his first year in office and limits tax levy growth to 2 percent per year or the inflation rate unless overridden by a school or government board.

That put him in company with Senate Republicans, who have crusaded for a permanent cap for years, and Assembly Republicans, who included it in their budget platform this week. Though the tax cap has remained in place each year and voting to end it would likely doom any politician, demanding that it be made permanent in state law has become a reliable political cry.

“We have a responsibility to make the property tax cap permanent this year,” Assemblyman Colin Schmitt, a New Windsor Republican who took office in January, said in a statement after the Assembly Republicans’ budget announcement this week. “The property tax cap single-handedly has been the most successful tool in state history in stemming property tax growth. We need to ensure that the tax cap is made permanent for the entire state.”

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