State Senate clears 2 percent tax cap for NYC

Mayor’s office says the move would endanger public services

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Senator Andrew Lanza
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Senator Andrew Lanza

The Republican-controlled New York State Senate approved a bill on Thursday that would set a cap of 2 percent on property tax increases across New York City’s five boroughs.

The rest of the state already has a 2 percent cap in place, but New York City is exempt, according to Capital New York.

“The cost of living in New York City is too high,” said Senator Andrew Lanza, the bill’s sponsor. “We’re driving families away in unprecedented rates. Unbridled increases in the property tax rate, especially when you add that together with the New York City income tax and the taxes that are imposed on just about everything that moves, breathes or exists in the city of New York.”

In January, the Department of Finance found that New York City residents will pay substantially more in property taxes this year than last year, with the collective value of the city’s real estate having risen 9 percent.

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However, the proposal lacks a sponsor in the Democrat-controlled Assembly, and Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office has spoken out against it.

A memorandum in opposition to the proposal from the mayor’s office said that the cap would result in  the loss of “billions of dollars in necessary tax revenue every year. Revenue that would be impossible to make up.” The memo argued that essential city services would have to be cut.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed $1.7 billion in state property tax breaks. [Capital NY] — Tess Hofmann