Albany, NY – December 17, 2008 – (RealEstateRama) – Today, New York’s 62,000 REALTORS are united in their disappointment that Gov. David Paterson’s budget proposal did not take the opportunity to reign in out-of-control school spending by including the school property tax cap plan as proposed by the New York State Commission on Property Tax Relief. NYSAR urges Governor Paterson to amend his budget proposal to seek enactment of badly needed structural relief from rising property taxes.
The governor’s proposal to eliminate the middle-class STAR rebate without also enacting a tax cap will increase the burden borne by New York’s homeowners today and for years to come. While STAR has helped ease the burden of rising school property taxes, it has also served to mask the larger problem of excessive spending by school districts. The elimination of the middle-class STAR rebate would only serve to shed additional light on the need for effective structural reform in school spending by saddling struggling families with a higher school property tax bill.
Governor Paterson would have no stronger ally than New York’s 62,000 REALTORS should he renew his call for capping the growth of school property tax levies at 4 percent or 120 percent of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is less. We urge the governor to include this proposal during the budget revision period.
While New York’s REALTORS strongly support providing our state’s children with exceptional education opportunities, we know that it can – and must – be done more cost effectively. In today’s economic climate, we once again urge our governor and state lawmakers to enact structural reforms to the tax system proposed by the bi-partisan state Commission on Property Tax Relief that will foster tax savings to property owners. Every step the state takes toward lower homeownership taxes is a step toward increasing the state’s quality of life and economic vitality.
The New York State Association of REALTORS also strongly opposes a proposal to increase fees for real estate licenses. This will create a new financial burden as licensees struggle to survive in these tight economic times. This is not the time to push these businesses to the brink through increased mandatory fees.
Today, we remind our elected leaders that it is vitally important for them to carefully consider any courses of action that may harm our residents’ ability to achieve or maintain the American dream of homeownership. The housing market has historically been a vital contributor to the state’s economy, and we call upon our elected officials in Albany to bear this in mind as they deal with the current fiscal crisis. Properly supported, the housing sector will help lead an economic rebound.
Editor’s Note: The New York State Association of REALTORS is a not-for-profit trade organization representing more than 62,000 of New York state’s real estate professionals. The term REALTOR is a registered trademark, which identifies real estate professionals who subscribe to a strict code of ethics as members of the National Association of REALTORS. These REALTORS are also members of the New York State Association of REALTORS as well as their local board or association of REALTORS.
Salvatore I. Prividera Jr.
Director of Communications