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Governor touts property tax cap

Governor Cuomo signs property tax cap in Lancaster
WBFO News photo by Ashley Hassett
Governor Cuomo signs property tax cap in Lancaster

By Eileen Buckley & Ashley Hasset t

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wbfo/local-wbfo-976290.mp3

Lancaster, NY – Governor Cuomo came to Western New York Tuesday to sign the property tax cap law. The governor appeared at a home in Lancaster to tout how the tax cap will provide needed relief to residents.

"For too long, New York families like the Martins have been forced to deal with out-of-control property taxes," said Governor Cuomo.

Governor Cuomo appeared at the home of Ian and Jenny Martin in Lancaster. They're the parents of three children and are working to deal with skyrocketing property taxes. Taxpayers in Erie County pay among the highest property taxes in the nation.

"We have some of the highest property taxes in the nation. The old question when you were buying a house was can I afford the mortgage payment, now the question is can you afford the property taxes? Well this year the property tax cap becomes a reality, finally," said Governor Cuomo.

The Martin family shells out $6,000 a year in property taxes. Governor Cuomo says that's almost twice the median property tax bill in the state.

But under the new law, property taxes will be capped off at a two percent annual growth rate. However, local governments would be allowed to override the cap if they can drum up a 60 percent vote.

"You know when your increasing property taxes at eight percent, where's the homeowner supposed to get that eight percent? There income is not going up at eight percent, there home value is not going up at eight percent, there savings account isn't going up at eight percent. So government keeps saying we need more money, the taxpayer doesn't have anymore money," said Governor Cuomo.

Cuomo said the law will allow homeowners to live without fear of having to move out of state.

Lancaster home owner Carl Mildenberger is pleased with the property tax cap. He told WBFO News it will make it easier for his children, who are in college, to afford stay in the state after they graduate.

Critics of the tax cap say if government can only raise taxes by two-percent they will not be able to raise enough revenues. But Governor Cuomo says that means its time for governments to make ends meet and conduct more belt tightening.