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Hon. Carl E.

Heastie February 14, 2019


Speaker – New York State Assembly
Legislative Office Building, Room 932
Albany, NY 12248

Dear Mr. Speaker,

Unshackle Upstate, a non-partisan, pro-taxpayer, pro-economic growth, education and advocacy coalition made up
of business and trade organizations from across of Upstate New York urges you and your conference to pass a
permanent 2-percent property tax cap.

As you know, the Senate has already passed a bill that would make the property tax cap permanent. Governor
Cuomo and a majority of residents support a permanent cap. This measure is of paramount importance to not just
Upstate New York, but the entire state. Sky-high property taxes discourage people from moving to Upstate New
York, and from investing and starting businesses here – stifling economic growth.

The state’s property tax cap has forced local governments and school districts to control their spending and to live
with the same fiscal discipline that families and businesses must live with every day. Since the enactment of the
cap, taxpayers across the state have seen some of the lowest rates of property tax growth in decades. According to
recent Executive Budget materials, “the tax cap has saved the typical taxpayer more than $3,200 in just the first six
years and combined with the Property Tax Freeze, local taxpayers have saved more than $25 billion.”

These savings are critical to growing communities that have experienced decades of out-migration. This trend has
hit Upstate New York particularly hard, with 42 of our 50 counties recording population losses since the last
census. Taking steps to control property taxes will help keep current residents in their homes and make our
communities more attractive for future growth.

A recent poll from the Siena Research Institute found that an overwhelming majority of residents – 65 percent –
believe that the cap is working. We agree. In order for New York to become a place where families can afford to live
and businesses are able to invest, grow and succeed, the property tax cap must be made permanent.

In a rare instance of bipartisanship, Senate Democrats and Republicans recognized the effectiveness and
importance of the tax cap and quickly passed the bill to make it permanent. We respectfully ask that the Assembly
follow suit. Thank you for your time and careful consideration. Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of
any assistance.

Sincerely,

Michael Kracker
Executive Director
Unshackle Upstate