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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

With tax-cap renewal likely, Cuomo releases report on LI homeowner savings

ALBANY - With lawmakers poised to renew the state's property-tax cap, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo released a report Wednesday that shows the average Long Island homeowner has saved $1,500 to $2,000 over the last three years because of the cap, mirroring previous studies by business groups and think tanks.

Cuomo, a Democrat, released the report as he and lawmakers are negotiating whether to extend not only the property-tax cap but also rent-control laws. Lawmakers have said both likely will be renewed later this month, although terms are still being debated.

Lawmakers are scheduled to adjourn the 2015 legislative session on June 17.

Cuomo said the growth rate of property taxes in Nassau and Suffolk counties has been 2.1 percent over the last three years since the cap became effective -- compared to 5.6 percent from 2000-10. That's meant a three-year savings of $1,923 for the average homeowner in Nassau, and $1,588 in Suffolk, he said.

The governor has slated news conferences in Nyack and Seaford on Wednesday to tout the tax cap.

"The tax cap has succeeded in taming out-of-control property tax increases throughout this state and it must be extended to ensure property taxpayers continue to be protected from the crushing burden of skyrocketing tax increases," Cuomo said in a statement. "I urge the Legislature to act this session to keep the cap and continue the progress we have made to deliver tax relief to all New Yorkers."

The report was released on a day when a Quinnipiac University poll showed Cuomo at his lowest approval rating since taking office in 2011.

The cap mandates that local governments can't raise tax levies more than 2 percent or the rate of inflation (with some exemptions for pensions and property-value growth) unless approved by a 60 percent "supermajority" of voters. Teachers' unions have sued to overturn the legality of the cap, but have failed so far. 

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