Press-Republican

Wednesday

December 11, 2013

State Tax Relief Commission report yields ideas

Local, state leaders hope proposals can help individuals, businesses

(Continued)

It also suggests increasing the state’s estate-tax exemption from $1 million to $5.25 million, the same as the federal standard.

CIRCUIT BREAKER

The governor said the commission’s report is another effort by the state to improve the quality of life for all New Yorkers.

“For far too long, property taxes have been a crushing burden on New York homeowners and businesses, hurting job growth and driving individuals and families from the state,” Cuomo said in a news release.

“I look forward to working together with the legislature to review these recommendations and continue our efforts to reverse the state’s reputation as a tax capital and make New York a friendlier state for families and businesses.”

State Sen. Betty Little (R-Queensbury) said the circuit-breaker idea is one she has been pushing for several years.

“Several similar proposals have been proposed in the legislature in recent years, so much of the work has been done on developing the concept,” she said.

“The point is to direct more of the relief to those most needing it, such as seniors living on fixed incomes who are unable to afford to pay high property taxes.”

Little said the state needs to continue to find ways to provide more mandate relief and other ways to reduce the tax burden.

“But this (circuit breaker) is a measure that would help now and target those whose property-tax bills are exceeding their ability to pay,” she said.

‘BUILD ON SACRIFICE’

Essex County Board of Supervisors Chairman Randy Douglas (D-Jay) said the commission’s recommendations should help local governments compile better budgets.

“It might be an incentive for people to try to meet the cap,” he said.

He noted that the Town of Jay has produced budgets that have increased an average of only 1.75 percent in the past nine years. It appears, however, that the county will not be able to meet the state cap for its 2014 budget.

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