Byron Brown praises Governor on property tax

Posted at 9:09 PM, Jan 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-03 21:09:52-05

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown says he is pleased that Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to do more to decrease property taxes in municipalities.


However, Brown stopped short of saying the state needs to do more to relieve taxpayers from the property tax burden.


"Clearly municipalities and the State have to work together. In the case of Buffalo, we've been doing that. We have cut the tax rate residentially 16 per cent," Brown told 7 Eyewitness News during a phone interview Wednesday.


When pressed if he's satisfied with how the state is working with municipalities, Brown would only say he looks forward to working closely with the Governor on city initiatives.


During the Governor's 92 minute address, Cuomo made a broad commitment to finding a way to reduce the property tax burden on New Yorkers.  He said the state will provide $225 million in the 2019 budget for a "match commitment" to municipalities that collaborate their resources to save money.  It's called the "County-Wide Shared Services Initiative."


State Senator Chris Jacobs says the Governor unfairly places the blame on local governments and school districts.


"The reality is a major contributor to high local property taxes is unfunded state mandates and regulations," Jacobs said in a statement.


Jacobs points to a promise that the Governor made in 2011.


"For another consecutive State of the State, the Governor said nothing about the urgent need for mandate relief, a promise that he made as a condition of the passage of the tax cap back in 2011," Jacobs said.


On Wednesday, Mayor Brown told 7 Eyewitness News "dozens of homeowners" in Buffalo took advantage of the last minute allowance to prepay their property taxes before January 1st.  In the final week of December 2017, Cuomo signed an executive order to make it possible.  The Mayor's spokesperson clarified that the number was closer to 200 homeowners.