Attorney General Andrew Cuomo will seek to cap property tax increases at 2 percent or the rate of inflation, a figure lower than caps proposed by Gov. David A. Paterson and Rick Lazio, who is seeking to succeed Paterson, a source close to Cuomo told Newsday Tuesday.

The announcement comes in advance of Cuomo's widely expected announcement that he'll seek the Democratic nomination for governor by next week's state Democratic convention. It is "part of his economic plan for when he announces for governor," the source said.

The party has no other announced candidates and state chairman Jay Jacobs has indicated Cuomo will be the candidate.

Cuomo would apply his property tax cap to school districts, local governments and county governments, the source said. The source explained that Cuomo will determine how inflation will be calculated once the plan is introduced.

"Cuomo knows that property taxes are going through the roof and that these tax increases are forcing people out of their homes and driving them out of the state," the source said. "Cuomo's property tax cap will be a central part of his economic plan because he knows we cannot get New York's fiscal house in order without holding the line on the spending and tax hikes that squeeze New York families and stifle economic growth."

Lazio, a former GOP congressman from Brightwaters, has proposed capping property taxes at 2.5 percent of the assessed value of a home. He would also forbid annual property tax increases of more than 2.5 percent unless voters in a local jurisdiction voted specifically to raise taxes more.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, who like Lazio is seeking the Republican nomination for governor, supports Paterson's proposal to limit annual property tax increases at 4 percent, his spokesman said Tuesday. Paterson proposed in late March that his property tax cap be included in the 2010-11 state budget, which is now 49 days overdue.

Cuomo's proposal, the source said, would allow local voters to override the cap with a 60 percent majority vote in a referendum, with limited exceptions for things like legal settlements, "extraordinary" capital expenditures or state-mandated social service programs.

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