Monday, May 26, 2008

Cahill's Tax Reform Bill in the State Assembly... What is Yess Talking About?

Robin Yess' whole campaign is based on property tax reform in NYS, she is running against an Assemblyman that is leading the effort in a bipartisan way to do just that.

For some reason part of the text got cut off to view the bill click here : Cahill Bill

Bill Summary - A04746
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A04746 Summary:

BILL NO    A04746

SAME AS No same as


COSPNSR Eddington, Peoples, Reilly, Rivera N, Weisenberg

MLTSPNSR Alessi, Benjamin, Boyland, Brennan, Destito, John, Kirwan, Latimer,
Lavine, Molinaro, Robinson, Schroeder, Seminerio

Add Art 71 Title V SS3501 - 3506, amd SS1909, 3601, 3602 & 3651, Ed L; rpld Art
13, add SS467-f & 307-b, amd RPT L, generally; rpld SS1204, 1211, 1212, 1261
sub (e) & 1262 sub (e), amd Tax L, generally

Makes provisions for the state to assume all costs of basic quality education
and for the elimination of real property taxes for the support of education;
requires board of regents to establish a schedule of mandatory basic services
and costs thereof; school districts shall submit an annual basic budget to the
department of education for basic services; increases taxes on personal income
and business; makes special provisions for reduction of tax in certain cities
and for reduction in rent by tenants in such cities; provides for phased in
methods of funding using a "Basic Quality Education" formula; repeals certain
provisions of the tax law and real property tax relating thereto.

A04746 Actions:

BILL NO    A04746

02/06/2007 referred to education
01/09/2008 referred to education

A04746 Votes:

A04746 Memo:


TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the education law, the real property
tax law and the tax law, in relation to abolishing certain school
taxes, providing for alternative taxes and state distribution to
school districts; and repealing certain provisions of the real
property tax law and the tax law relating to certain taxes

PURPOSE : The purpose of this plan is to permit the financing of
public schools in New York State within the context of the following

1) the elimination of the inequitable and regressive real estate tax
as the support of public schools;

2) the retention of present levels of local control by school
districts; and

3) the guarantee of quality and equality of educational opportunity
for all children of the state.


The plan consists of the following basic principles: 1) The state
shall assume all the costs of Basic Quality Education (BQE), including
all general and special education services which the commissioner,
under guidelines established by the legislature, shall define as
necessary. Basic quality education as defined by the commissioner,
shall allow sufficient latitude so that choices may be made by local
districts with respect to their individual needs. "BASIC" shall be
defined in terms of equal services to all pupils regardless of
differences in cost in different districts for those services.

2) The "BASIC" costs shall be borne by increases in statewide business
and individual income taxes in conjunction with the elimination of
school district real estate taxes. New York City, which does not
identify the school portion of its real estate taxes, and also
collects an income tax, shall apply the full amount of the school
portion of its budget toward a reduction in the real estate tax. The
same formula shall apply to the cities of Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse
and Yonkers. Property tax reductions would be passed through to
tenants on a pro-rate basis where lease permits. Where this is
precluded by a lease, tenants will be entitled to tax credits or
rebates on their state income taxes for the duration of the lease.

3) BASIC budgets shall be submitted by local boards of education to
the State Education Department for approval.

4) All monies for BASIC budgets shall be collected by the state
through the business and personal income tax. The "BASIC Education
Tax" shall be levied as a percentage of the business or individual
income tax.

5) Transition period: During the first (seven) years after enactment,
a district may opt to receive as its BASIC BUDGET one of following: a)
budget amount of the school year during which this law shall take
effect (dollar save harmless); b) the district budget of the school
year during which this law shall take effect increased or decreased by
changes in enrollment (pupil save harmless); or c) the amount
resulting from the application of the BQE formula, but not to exceed
the average statewide increase over the prior year, plus 10% growth
ceiling. After five years only option (c) will apply.

JUSTIFICATION : This legislation would eliminate the use of
regressive real estate taxes for the purposes of funding education.
The bill first and foremost ensures that every child has access to the
same quality education regardless of where they live or the level of
their family`s income. By eliminating the school real property tax and
shifting to a more progressive statewide income tax, we will be able
to fund our schools equitably, fairly and more affordably for all New

Grassroots movements in every region of the state, have pushed
education funding reform to the forefront. There are groups fighting
for property tax relief, the Campaign for Fiscal Equity fighting for
more funding for New York City schools and small cities and towns all
across upstate New York struggling to balance their school budgets.

Since 1995, local property tax levies have grown by 60 percent, more
than twice the rate of inflation during that period (28 percent). Most
of this growth occurred in the last 5 years -- when property tax
levies increased by 42 percent, compared to inflation of 13 percent.
The cost of education has been the driving force behind these
destabilizing increases.

The bill requires the definition of a basic quality education be
developed in such a way that school districts retain sufficient
latitude to devise their budgets based on individual needs. In
creating a schedule of mandatory services and authorized costs, the
State Education Department will be directed to take regional cost
differences into account. Perhaps the most critical aspect of this
proposal, as it relates to local control, is that the initiatives and
expenditures that give each individual school district its own
identity -- programs that might not be deemed required to ensure a
basic quality education but are certainly necessary to give our
children the experience of a fully enriched education -- can still be
funded through a locally raised income tax subject to the approval of
the district voters.

The only way we are going to achieve meaningful school financing
reform is to proceed with the core societal value of this being about
our children. Ensuring that each and every child has access to the
same basic quality education regardless of where they live, how high
their family`s income is or how much their property is valued, should
be our top priority. The state has a moral and legal obligation to
ensure equity in our education system statewide.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : Transfer of taxes.

EFFECTIVE DATE : This act shall take effect on the first day of
January next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law,
provided, however, that sections two, five, seven, eight and ten
through thirty-one of this act shall take effect on the first day of
January in the 5th year next succeeding such date.


Anonymous said...

Bonacic's bill is better.

Anonymous said...

First, Mr. Cahill's bill is in the State Assembly - so what! Any lawmaker can introduce a bill Mr. Blaber.

Second, it is not a function of being "in the Assembly" it is a function of passing the bill. Cahill has not gotten that done.

Third, the Rules of the Assembly specifically require a vote in whatever committee Cahill's bill is sitting in if Cahill only asks for it.

What that means is Kevin Cahill, for all his posturing about how great his bill in, has not even asked for a vote on it.

He's faking it. Introducing a bill on property tax reform is not the same as VOTING on a bill for property tax reform.

Kevin is a faker.

Anonymous said...

I think Yess is making a campaign issue of a problem that Cahill has made a career of talking about and campaigning for and talking about some more but never solving.

Did you notice Cahill's bill is an Assembly bill with no companion bill ("same as" or "unibill") introduced in the NYS Senate? Apparently, not one Senator (Democrat or Republican) will carry the bill in the upper house... makes one wonder how hard Cahill is working for it, or how seriously anyone takes him in Albany.

Yess is right about one thing: if you are serious about property tax reform. better give up on waiting for Cahill to deliver. Cahill is all talk- maybe Yess can deliver.

If Kingston taxpaying voters troubled about the reval figure out that Cahill is just a reform blow-hard, maybe he could be in political trouble. But it would be hard to believe an incumbent Democrat MOA MIA could be DOA in a presidential election year.

Anonymous said...

This republican is a phony put up by bonachoke and his henchmen. this election is a farce

Anonymous said...

And a Republican in the Assembly is going to do better than Kevin Cahill can? Part of the art of Politics is knowing WHEN to present a bill. The blue ribbon commission has not even presented their findings yet.

Anyone who thinks that replacing a long term majority member with a certain one term minority member, is fool hearty. Cahill has an exponentially better chance of succeeding with his bill than Yess would of even getting a bill out of committee. A vote for Yess is a huge step backwards for the district. You can take that to the bank.

Anonymous said...

Kevin has not asked for a vote because he knows the bill will not pass. His bill is the closest suggestion to equity that has come along and it has no legs. It has no legs because his colleagues are cowards hiding behind the skirts of the local school board system.

Setting aside the talk, our legislators in Albany do not have the will to make anything happen. Property tax relief sounds fine in a sound bite. In reality, our legislators do not want to be the ones charging the citizens for education. They would prefer to pass mandate after mandate, not fund those mandates and then hide behind the illusion of local control called the "school board".

School boards take the brunt of the public animosity about the high cost of education so that our legislators do not have to. School board members hear the complaints of their neighbors in the grocery store so that our legislators do not have to.

Whatever your complaints about Kevin, give him some credit on this issue. He is one of the only legislators in Albany who is willing to go out on a limb and state publicly that the state has to pick up the tab for public education. He is one of the only ones to go out on a limb and say that the local taxpayers should not be required to pick up the tab for educating children with disabilities. He is one of the only ones going out on a limb and pointing out that the local taxpayers should not be footing the bill for no child left behind.

He is one of the only ones who is willing to admit that the system is a sham and it is designed to deflect attention from Albany so that no one notices who is really at fault.

Oh, and we should wait for the "blue ribbon" commissions report. Real impressive title. We already have a "blue ribbon" report. It was issued by the Court of Appeals some five years ago.

Our highest court said the system of funding education through property taxes is unconstitutional and has to be fundamentally changed. Our legislators basically ignored the Court of Appeals. Now we are supposed to expect them to listen to a blue ribbon commission?

Let's be serious. . .

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Yess a Democrat? I could swear she was an enrolled Democrat not that long ago. Why did she switch parties?

Anonymous said...

It is truly a shame that Cahill didn't run for County Executive - he is head and shoulders the most qualified and would have gotten the entire parties support.

Anonymous said...

Cahill has talked a great game about tax reform but has done absolutely nothing during his time in the assembly. Lets be real we all know that nothing gets done unless Shelly wants it done and Cahill is one of the worst Shelly panderers out there.

Anonymous said...

Cahill has done an excellent job. Suny New Paltz could not have grown as it has without Cahill's support. I think he would have been a great Executive. I think he will someday take on that challenge.

Anonymous said...

The best thing to be said for Cahill is that he generally votes right... or is that the way Shelly Silver tells him to? Otherwise, he has been a disappointment to his district. On property tax reform, year after year, he has failed to deliver.

Anonymous said...

Name one Assemblyman, Senator, Governor, Legislator, name anyone who has "delivered" on property tax reform?

At least Cahill has a plan that is fair. He has support outside of the assembly too.Most importantly, by tax reform advocates around the state.

He knows what needs to be done and is working on getting it done.