Rochester Chamber joins coalition to permanently cap property tax at 2 percent

The Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce Inc. has joined a statewide coalition to advocate for making the 2 percent property tax cap permanent.

On Tuesday, several organizations including the Chamber, the Business Council of New York State, the Business Council of Westchester and the Long Island Association launched a statewide partnership that will be chaired by its respective presidents to hold the line on property taxes and “keep New York State economically competitive and affordable.”

The group will be expanded with additional business organizations and chambers of commerce throughout the state, officials said.

“Rochester Chamber fully supports a permanent property tax cap in New York State. Since his first year in office, Gov. Cuomo has had success in saving property owners billions of dollars through the tax cap,” Chamber President and CEO Bob Duffy said in a statement. “Families in the Rochester and Finger Lakes region still need relief from some of the highest property taxes per capita in the nation.”

In 2011, New York enacted a cap that limited the growth of school and local property taxes to 2 percent, or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. The cap was renewed in 2015 and expires next year, but is legally tied to New York City rent-control laws, which end in June this year. Coalition members said action on the cap must be taken now.

“The real property tax cap is one of Governor Cuomo’s signature achievements, and was adopted in 2011 with broad, bipartisan support. Since then, it has saved New York’s homeowners and business owners billions of dollars in reduced property tax burdens,” said the Business Council President and CEO Heather Briccetti. “The heavy impact of local real property taxes in New York is well documented. The Business Council, and many of our allied organizations, were early and ardent supporters. The cap, along with limited spending growth at the state level, has produced a new era of governmental fiscal prudence in New York State.”

Officials noted that municipalities, including school districts, which are the biggest driver of property taxes, have “by and large responded to the cap with prudent budgeting, more efficiency and restrained spending.” In essence, the coalition said, “towns, villages and schools have learned to do more with less.”

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