Monday, June 19, 2006

Faso On Property Taxes

John Faso Outlines Plan For Property Tax Relief

As part of a strategic plan to provide major relief to property taxpayers, Republican and Conservative candidate for governor John Faso today outlined measures to give local governments the ability to reduce costs and cut local property taxes. Faso’s municipal relief strategy follows other proposals that would cap school property taxes, increase STAR benefits, and reform Medicaid.

“The verdict is in: state mandates from Albany increase property taxes and are driving business and jobs from our state,” said Mr. Faso. “Localities need to make choices, but they also need to be allowed to manage their own destinies. As governor, I will not only cut taxes, but I will give local governments the ability to cut taxes, too.”

At the New York Conference of Mayors Annual Meeting, Faso outlined a number of reforms that would reform mandates on local governments, allowing them to reduce costs and lower taxes.

Among the state laws Faso recommended changing are:
-Amending the Triborough Amendment of the Taylor Law to ensure that taxpayers’ ability-to-pay is a factor in arbitration decisions;
-Allowing any community under the jurisdiction of a state control board to revise contracts and benefits similar to a bankruptcy in the private sector;
-Reforming the Wicks Law which adds 10-20% to public construction costs;
-Exempting projects under $1 million from prevailing wage requirements;
-Establishing an option for municipalities to use 401(k) defined contribution systems instead of defined benefit systems for new employees, and,
-Reforming the Insurance Law to allow municipal and private employers to offer Health Savings Accounts.

Faso, who was a member of the Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority from 2003 until just last week, said, “If my experience in Buffalo taught me anything, it is that simply increasing aid to cities does not address the underlying economic problems. For Buffalo, and nearly every other city in this state to achieve fiscal stability, we must reform laws which drive up property taxes.”
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Read, Suozzi, Faso said Spitzer tax cut plan flawed, phony

Read, Tax Cut Promises Reveal Little

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