NORWICH – The Chenango County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution Monday urging New York State to significantly cut unfunded mandates before imposing a cap on local property taxes.
Proposals from Gov.-elect Andrew Cuomo call for capping annual increases at 2 percent, or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. The move is designed to put an end to the unpredictable increases in property taxes that have reportedly left New York with 9 out of the 10 highest taxed counties in the nation, in relation to home value.
Chenango County’s letter calls for legislation that would give counties the fiscal responsibility only for those services rendered over which it has decision-making authority, not for those mandated by Albany. It also objects to any property tax cap unless it is coupled with “significant cuts” in local costs for mandated programs.
“Arbitrarily capping property taxes without addressing root causes would cripple county governments within a few short years, because all non-mandated spending would have to be eliminated to meet the cap,” said Chenango County Clerk of the Board RC Woodford.