NY legislators near rent, tax, tuition deals

(AP) - New York legislative leaders said Wednesdaythey were nearing final agreements on public college tuitionincreases, New York City rent controls and statewide property taxcaps and they expected to pass legislation late Wednesday orThursday.

Emerging from a meeting with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, SenateRepublican leader Dean Skelos said the tax cap agreement is inplace. "That will happen," he said.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said the bill on StateUniversity of New York and City University of New York tuition wasbeing printed and the basic terms of rent control were set, thoughthere was ongoing work on technical language. He said there was noreason the tax cap and mandate relief couldn't be done Wednesday.

"We made significant progress," Silver said after theclosed-door meeting.

They would extend the expiring city rent controls, which affectan estimated 2.5 million tenants in about 1 million apartments. Itwould raise the maximum monthly rent to $2,500 allowed for tenantsto keep below-market rents, an increase of $500. The income cap foran eligible household would rise from $175,000 to $200,000.

The cap would limit annual increases in property taxes statewideto 2 percent, or inflation if it's less than that. A 60 percentvote by a school district's voters could suspend the cap for ayear.

The deal would also provide relief to public schools and localgovernments from state mandates that can increase the cost ofconstruction projects and in labor negotiations, many of which aremeasures originally passed at the urging of unions.

The tentative agreement between legislative leaders and Cuomowould increase public college tuition by $300 a year for fiveyears. That would increase tuition at SUNY and CUNY to about $6,470a year after five years, from less than $5,000 a year now.

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