Republican Christopher McGrath and Democrat Todd Kaminsky, who will face off in an April 19 special election to replace former state Sen. Dean Skelos, introduced competing tax relief plans on Tuesday.
McGrath, a personal injury attorney from Hewlett, would make permanent the state’s 2 percent property tax cap, which is scheduled to sunset in 2020.
Kaminsky, a state assemblyman from Long Beach, released a plan that he said would provide families with an average tax credit of $2,300.
McGrath’s plan mirrors proposals pushed by Senate Republicans. It would cut state personal income taxes on families earning less than $300,000; restore the STAR property tax rebate program; exempt pensions and retirement income from state taxes and eliminate the Gap Elimination Adjustment.
The state used the GEA between 2009 and 2011 to deduct revenue from school districts to help close a state budget deficit.
“By capping state spending, we have the ability to invest in middle-class families and seniors by enacting meaningful tax relief,” McGrath said.
Under Kaminsky’s plan, families earning $100,000 or less would get a 50 percent credit on their state income taxes if they spend more than 6 percent of their income on local property taxes.
Families earning between $100,000 and $175,000 would get a 50 percent credit if they spend more than 7 percent of their income on property taxes. Families earning between $175,000 and $250,000 would receive a 50 percent credit if they spend more than 8 percent of their income on property taxes.
The program would cost $2.5 billion and be capped at $2,500 per household, Kaminsky said.
“Far too many New Yorkers are forced to pay obscenely high property taxes, and the cost eats up more and more of their earnings each year,” he said.
On Monday, McGrath also said he would introduce a bill limiting Senate and Assembly members to four two-year terms. Statewide officials, including the governor, comptroller and attorney general, would be limited to two four-year terms. New York does not have term limits for state lawmakers.
Kaminsky spokesman Evan Thies said Kaminsky supports term limits, but declined to elaborate.
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) opposes term limits, his spokesman Michael Whyland said.
Scott Reif, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-East Northport), said “When Chris McGrath is a member of the Senate, he will have an important role shaping the balance of the legislative session and advancing key measures to reform Albany and restore the public trust.” But Reif declined to say whether Flanagan supports McGrath’s proposal.
Also Monday, Kaminsky’s campaign released a new 30-second TV ad in which a narrator recalls that Kaminsky’s grandmother Ruth, a retired Long Beach teacher, taught him “about giving back and standing up for what’s right. Maybe that’s why he became a federal corruption prosecutor and fought so hard for Sandy victims and local school funding.”
The special election to replace Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), who was convicted last year of federal corruption crimes, could determine control of the Senate. The GOP holds a narrow majority, aided by a group of breakaway Democrats.
Skelos and his son, Adam, who also was convicted in the case, are appealing.