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Katko Town Hall

Rep. John Katko listens to Auburn Mayor Michael Quill during a panel discussion at Cayuga Community College Aug. 30, 2018.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's push to make the property tax cap permanent has been endorsed by several New York members of Congress, including U.S. Rep. John Katko. 

Cuomo launched the "No Tax Cap, No Deal" campaign to advocate for a permanent property tax cap. The cap, one of the governor's first legislative achievements in 2011, limits property tax levy growth to 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. 

The cap is due to expire next year, but Cuomo wants to make it permanent in the 2019-20 state budget. He has said that he won't sign a budget agreement that doesn't contain a permanent tax cap. 

"We want to reduce economic pressure on families by making sure government is not aggravating the problem with increased expenses," Cuomo said. "We're going to cut your state income tax and we're going to cap your property taxes so you know it's not going higher than 2 percent." 

One reason Cuomo is supporting a permanent property tax cap is the effect of the federal tax law. He has long criticized the federal law, including the provision that caps state and local tax deductions at no more than $10,000. 

He blamed the cap on state and local tax deductions for a $2.3 billion drop in state personal income tax receipts. 

Katko, R-Camillus, was one of four New York Republicans who voted for the federal tax law in late 2017. He has been criticized by Cuomo for that vote. 

But on Wednesday, Katko was the lone GOP member of Congress who issued a statement supporting Cuomo's campaign to make the property tax cap permanent. 

"Year after year, homeowners in central New York pay some of the highest property taxes in the nation," Katko said. "We need to give taxpayers long-term certainty, and making the property tax cap permanent will do just that. High property taxes have burdened economic growth in our state for far too long, and I support these efforts to achieve meaningful tax relief." 

The other members of Congress who endorsed Cuomo's effort include high-ranking Democrats. House Appropriations Committee Chair Nita Lowey and U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, who chairs the House Democratic Caucus, are among the New Yorkers who support the tax cap proposal. 

The plan to make the property tax cap permanent has met some resistance in the state Legislature. While the state Senate passed legislation to make the cap permanent, state Assembly Democrats are seeking modifications to the cap. 

One of the changes Assembly Democrats want is the elimination of the supermajority requirement to override the cap. Under existing law, 60 percent of a local government board or school district residents must vote to exceed the tax cap. 

However, Cuomo isn't open to changing the tax cap. When asked on Monday if he would consider modifying the cap, he responded, "No." 

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Online producer Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or robert.harding@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.

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