Monday, October 6, 2014

Is Cuomo's tax cap working for the people of New York State?

Long Island's Newsday is a strong supporter of Andrew Cuomo. It endorsed him for reelection in the recent Democratic Party primary calling a challenge from the left "folly" and praising his stance against "big-government and "big spending."

But Newsday is fed up with the Cuomo school tax cap: "Three years after the State Legislature and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo enacted a tax cap, school districts are running out of ways to soften the blow. Pressure to control spending is rising, and the state hasn't done enough to help." The Cuomo tax cap limits school districts to annual tax hikes of two percent or the rate of inflation - whichever is lower. Overriding the Cuomo cap requires a 60% approval rate, something so difficult to achieve that only five of 124 Long Island school districts did it successfully in 2014. Meanwhile, pension and health care costs have dramatically increased, teachers move up the salary steps, forcing districts to make significant cuts and drain financial reserves.

One district, North Shore in Nassau County, is in a particular bind because the local power company, LIPA, is closing an antiquated plant that was a major source of the school district's tax revenue. The district's school budget is millions of dollars a year in the red, but this affluent community is hard pressed to make up the difference because of Cuomo tax cap restrictions.

According to Newsday, the state keeps mandating requirements without providing resources and blocking the ability of localities to raise the money that they need. Older voters, especially older White voters, may not want to pay to educate the children of minority and immigrant families that are moving into their towns, but New York State has the responsibility to educate its children. So the answer is "NO," the tax cap does not work for the people, especially the children, of New York State.

Excerpt from Huffington Post

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