Skelos pushes school property tax cap

The head of the state Senate held a conference Thursday to discuss a school property tax cap in some Westchester cities. Sen. Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) proposed the cap at a city hall news conference

News 12 Staff

Aug 7, 2008, 10:56 PM

Updated 5,763 days ago

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Skelos pushes school property tax cap
The head of the state Senate held a conference Thursday to discuss a school property tax cap in some Westchester cities.
Sen. Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) proposed the cap at a city hall news conference in Yonkers ? even though the proposal does not apply there. Skelos is calling the Senate back for a special session on Friday, when he hopes to pass a 4 percent cap on annual school property tax increases across the state.
?This is critically important in order to bring property taxes under control,? Skelos says. The proposal doesn?t include Yonkers or other large cities, but Skelos pledged there would also be more financial help for Yonkers classrooms.
Skelos also criticized Democratic Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins during his conference. ?When you look at the past school aid picture for the city of Yonkers and [Stewart-Cousins?] portion of Westchester, she's failed in terms of bringing the appropriate amount of school aid,? he said.
Stewart-Cousins fired back, accusing Skelos of always ensuring that Westchester County and Yonkers got less than what they deserve. ?To show up in the political season, to pretend how you are interested in education and the children is really sad,? she says. She plans to run for re-election this fall.
However, Skelos has his share of supporters. Backing him up are Mayor Phil Amicone and Yonkers Councilmember John Murtagh, who plans to run against Stewart-Cousins this fall. ?It?s incumbent upon our legislators to do what our governor has asked and pass the property tax cap,? Murtagh said.
Gov. David Paterson is calling for more than $1 billion in spending cuts to help close a massive budget gap. He also supports the tax cap.
Stewart-Cousins believes the cap will hurt, not help, students. ?I think it falls short,? she says.


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