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Cuomo Campaigns Locally for Property Tax Reform

people sit at a long table with microphones
Scott Willis

Governor Andrew Cuomo gave a last-minute campaign push in East Syracuse Tuesday, advocating for a property tax freeze planthat could benefit many Upstate home owners.  He’s been touring the state leading up to the April 1 budget deadline, encouraging residents and supporters to pressure state legislators to approve his proposal.  
Opposition has grown against Cuomo’s plan among lawmakers like Republican Senator John Defrancisco, and local government leaders like Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner (Dem.)  It would incentivize municipalities to consolidate or combine operations in exchange for sending tax rebate checks to that community’s homeowners.  Cuomo says families have had to tighten their belts, and now it’s time for government to do the same:
Cuomo was joined today by supporters of his plan, including Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney.  She says it’s another step in the right direction, since people and businesses are leaving Upstate New York in favor of other states with lower property taxes.  Mahoney says local governments have to do more:

logo of scissors cutting piece of paper, reading we capped them, now let's cut them
Governor Cuomo's property tax cut initiative's logo
County Executive Joanie Mahoney uses Onondaga County as an example of one county in New York with entirely too many local governments.

But some disagree.  Opponents like Green Party candidate for governor HowieHawkinssay Cuomo’s plan is a top-down, “one size fits all” approach that leaves local governments little say over decisions regarding municipal and school budgets and property tax levies. Hawkins points to the individual fiscal needs and specific circumstances for each locality that could get glossed over if the state were to influence the consolidation process.

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at
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