D ANIEL  P.

 M C C OY Chairman

C OUNTY   OF  A LBANY C OUNTY L EGISLATURE
112 S TATE  S TREET , R OOM  710 A LBANY , N EW  Y ORK    12207
P HONE :  (518) 447­7168   F AX :  (518) 447­5695

P AUL  T. D EVANE Clerk

  WWW . ALBANYCOUNTY . COM  

June 1, 2011 Hon. Andrew M. Cuomo Governor of New York State NYS State Capitol Building Albany, New York 12224 RE: Implementation of Property Tax Cap without relief from State Unfunded Mandates Dear Governor Cuomo and fellow Members of the Albany County Legislature: According to news reports, legislation has been negotiated that would impose capping LOCAL property taxes at a 2% level. I applaud this, as it is long overdue. Unfortunately, what everyone seems to be ignoring is the vital connection to what have been high property taxes in New York State and the hundreds of unfunded mandates that are imposed on localities, school districts and other local entities. State Legislators vote every year to impose more and more of these unfunded mandates that come with instructions from the state on how they are to be implemented, without input from County government. There is far too little time left in the current session, and lawmakers have to understand what imposing a local Property Tax Cap will do to County Government if there is no relief from these unfunded mandates. It must be noted that the high spending, high property tax problem was created on the state level, not on the county level. You are aware, and have addressed the problem of Medicaid costs. In 2010 over $7 billion in local taxes were dedicated to this single state mandate. The property tax cap does not address any relief from Medicaid spending, or any of the other mandates that are unfairly put on the backs of the taxpayers here in Albany County. I am happy that you appointed a Mandate Relief Redesign Team, and I have read their recommendations, but it seems that the Tax Cap will be in place before any relief is given to County Government. Obviously, if you do not address the root cause of the problem of high property taxes, which is unfunded state mandates, then all counties will be forced to cut services to the elderly, children and veterans. Road and bridge maintenance and repair will be affected, just to name a few. We have been waiting decades for relief from state unfunded mandates, but they just keep piling on. I urge you to heed the call from your Mandate Relief Team and put the “Horse before the cart” and postpone this legislation until some solution to the issue of unfunded state mandates can be achieved. Sincerely, Daniel P. McCoy Chairman

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