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Long Island

LIA presses for renewal of property tax cap

Long Island Association president Kevin Law in Uniondale

Long Island Association president Kevin Law in Uniondale on Jan. 25, 2007. Credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan

The region's largest business group pressed Tuesday for renewal of the state property tax cap, warning that Long Islanders could see a 60 percent hike in property taxes over the next decade if the law dies.

The Long Island Association, in a report set to be released Thursday, said historical trends indicate property taxes in Nassau and Suffolk counties would rise by nearly 6 percent per year through 2025 if state lawmakers don't renew the tax cap. The cap expires next year.

However, renewal of the cap, which limits increases to 2 percent a year, with adjustments for inflation and other factors, is expected.

The report by the LIA said property taxes in Nassau and Suffolk increased 9.15 percent per year in the 1970s, 7.8 percent per year in the 1980s, 4.8 percent per year in the 1990s and 5.8 percent per year from 2000-12.

Kevin Law, LIA president and CEO, called the historical trend "really telling. You had four decades where the average annual tax increase was well over 5 percent. So you're looking at about a 60 percent increase over the next decade if the cap isn't renewed versus 20 percent if it is kept in place."

Renewal of the cap, which was approved in 2011, is linked to New York City rent control laws that expire in June. Many lawmakers expect both to be renewed this year, although terms are still uncertain.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, and the Republican-controlled Senate favor making the tax cap permanent. Teachers' unions and some school administrators have said the cap has taken away local control and forced some program cuts.

Also, some local government officials say state lawmakers need to eliminate some state-mandated programs to help municipalities stay within the cap.

The cap can be overridden by a supermajority of voters or local officials.


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