Gov. Andrew Cuomo once again got his way on a major piece of legislation.
Cuomo and leaders from both parties announced they had agreed to place a 2 percent limit on property tax increases. The plan, if it were enacted, would be one of the toughest caps in the nation.
The proposed property tax cap, which must be approved by the Legislature, is aimed at reversing the economic decline in many parts of the state outside of New York City. It also seeks to curb soaring property tax bills in areas like Long Island, Westchester County and pockets of upstate New York, where residents are facing some of the country's highest property taxes.
Some residents, particularly those who are older and live on fixed incomes, are being forced out of their homes by rising property taxes.
But education advocates said the bill would drain funding from public schools. Richard Iannuzzi, president of New York State United Teachers, said the state was shirking its responsibility to students.
"We're in a time now where the state has pulled back on its responsibility to fund schools," Iannuzzi said. "It really is a necessity for local school districts to be able to raise the funds to meet the needs that the state's abandoning,"
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said the cap should only be passed as part of a bill that would renew and strengthen rent-stabilization laws. Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said tying the two issues together would not jeopardize passage of the bill.
If the legislation does indeed pass, it would be another huge win for Gov. Cuomo, who has campaigned aggressively for the tax cap. Cuomo was widely seen as the winner in a budget battle that resulted in the legislature passing a bill that looked very similar to the governor's proposed budget.