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Levy seeks property tax cap

ALBANY - Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy Tuesday urged state leaders to include a property tax cap in next year's budget.

Levy, a Democrat who is mulling a run for governor, criticized Gov. David A. Paterson for not including the tax cap in his 2010-11 budget proposals unveiled last month. Paterson, a Democrat, included the cap in his 2009-10 spending plan, but it was dropped in negotiations with the State Legislature.

Levy said the cap would curb spending by local governments.

"Our local property taxpayers are being taxed out of their homes, and they need to be spared," he said at a meeting of the state Association of Counties.

Recognizing lawmakers' resistance to a tax cap, Paterson proposed a limit on state spending, and using future budget surpluses to pay for income tax credits for hard-pressed homeowners.

Matt Anderson, a spokesman for Paterson's budget office, said the governor "clearly supports the property tax cap and included property tax relief in his budget proposals."

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