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LIA: Taxes could rise 60% over next decade if cap isn't renewed

ALBANY - Long Islanders could be looking at a 60 percent hike in property taxes over the next decade if the New York doesn’t extend its tax cap, according to a new study by a business group.

The Long Island Association, in a report set to be released Thursday, said that historical trends indicate property taxes in Nassau and Suffolk counties would rise nearly 6 percent per year through 2025 if state lawmakers don’t renew the tax cap. If it is renewed – as is widely expected – the cap limits increases to 2 percent a year, with adjustments for inflation and other factors, unless overridden by a supermajority of voters or local officials.

The LIA report said that 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, president and CEO of the business group, said the historical trend was “really telling.”

“You had four decades where the average annual tax increase was well over 5 percent,” Law said. “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.”

Law said the cap, approved in 2011, “has been working.”

“At least the increases have been controlled,” he said.

The tax cap is set to expire in 2016. Politically, it has been linked to New York City rent control laws, which expire in June, which makes it difficult for lawmakers to do away with either altogether. Many of them expect both to be renewed this year, though 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. And some local government officials have said state lawmakers need to eliminate some state-mandated programs so as to help them stay within the spending cap – Law concurred.

"We also must force the state to live up to their commitments on mandate relief to help our schools and municipalities comply with the cap,” he said.



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