Cuomo says there will be no budget deal without permanent tax cap

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Long Island Sunday said a budget deal won’t be in place without it including a permanent cap on property tax increases, enlisting six suburban Democrats to the effort.

Cuomo, appearing alongside the half dozen Democrats who represent Nassau and Suffolk counties in the state Senate, said the lawmakers won’t agree to a budget plan that doesn’t include the cap’s permanent extension.

“I’m never going to get a budget that doesn’t have a permanent property tax cap,” Cuomo said.

“Do you know why? Because the State Senate is never going to pass a budget that doesn’t have a permanent property tax cap. Do you know why? Because there are Senators from Long Island who are going to stand up for the Long Island taxpayers, and they are going to say we will never pass a budget without a permanent property tax cap.”

The cap, in place since 2012, limits property tax levy increases to 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower. The measure does not expire until next year.

But Cuomo has sought to make the permanent tax cap a cornerstone issue in the state budget and has resisted calls to make changes to it.

High property taxes are especially resonant with suburban voters in New York, who pay among the highest property taxes in the country. Democrats gained control of the chamber after winning key seats on Long Island and in the Hudson Valley. Five of the six Long Island senators are first term lawmakers.

The state Senate in February approved a permanent tax cap measure as a standalone bill, but the measure is yet to be taken up by the state Assembly. Speaker Carl Heastie has been skeptical a permanent tax cap is needed, saying earlier this month the provision is unlikely to expire.

A budget is due next Sunday, the end of the state’s fiscal year.

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