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Some local officials fault Cuomo's tax cap


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to extend the state’s property tax cap. The law limits annual tax increases, and it’s set to expire next year. Cuomo released a report last week that said the cap has saved more than $800 for the typical New Yorker over the past three years. He calls that success.

But Dryden town supervisor Mary Ann Sumner wants Cuomo to look back a few more years. She says in 2008 when the recession hit, Dryden cut taxes to give people a break. The town leaned on money it had in reserve instead.

“Our tax rate is in fact artificially low because we’ve been using savings,” she says.

Sumner says now that the economy’s improving, taxes need to go back up, but the cap limits annual tax increases to 2 percent. If a locality exceeds that, its property owners don’t get a special tax credit from the state.

“When our tax levy would normally rise, we’re penalized for doing that,” Sumner says.

Cuomo’s report says curtailing tax rates makes New York more economically competitive. Before the legislature adjourns June 17, it could extend the tax cap or even make it permanent.

Solvejg Wastvedt grew up in western Pennsylvania and graduated from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. Over the summer, she served in Los Angeles as an intern on NPR's National Desk. Plus, before coming to Upstate New York, Solvejg worked at the Minneapolis community radio station KFAI. When she isn't reporting the news, Solvejg enjoys running and exploring hiking trails.