County offers tax freeze alternative as state budget looms

CHENANGO COUNTY – With a new state fiscal year starting April 1, many New York counties, including Chenango County, are pushing a proposal they believe would be more beneficial to local taxpayers than the property tax freeze presented in the 2014 executive budget.

As a finalized budget could head to vote in Albany as early as Monday, the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) is calling on the state to take on the full burden of Medicaid costs which are being footed by counties. This move could ease the burden of local taxpayers in a simpler way than the proposed property tax freeze, NYSAC argues, and prove to be a better long-term solution.

As proposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, the property tax freeze is subject to certain conditions. In the first year, the municipality and school district must adhere to the state mandated 2 percent tax cap. In the second year, taxing jurisdictions must adhere to the cap but also enter a shared services or consolidation agreement with other jurisdictions. By year three, the tax freeze ends and property tax circuit breaker that bases property tax payment on taxpayers’ incomes goes into effect.

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