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State teachers union files suit against property tax cap

New York State’s largest teachers union has filed a lawsuit against the state’s property tax cap, arguing it’s unconstitutional.New York State United Teachers President Richard Iannuzzi  says the cap, passed by Cuomo and the legislature in 2011,  arbitrarily limits property tax increases to 2% per year,  regardless of whether a school district is rich or poor. 

The lawsuit also charges that the tax cap violates the principle of 'one person, one vote' because a supermajority of 60% of voters is required to override the cap.  

“We filed the lawsuit because there is clearly an inequitable funding of education in New York State,” said Iannuzzi.

Governor Cuomo counts the property tax cap as one of his proudest achievements. His spokesman called the teacher’s union action an “irresponsible,” “special interest lawsuit” that would undermine progress that’s been made to stop “skyrocketing property tax increases on homeowners and businesses”.

The leader of the Republican in the State Senate, Dean Skelos, says the lawsuit has “no merit”.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. WBFO listeners are accustomed to hearing DeWitt’s insightful coverage throughout the day, including expanded reports on Morning Edition.