Other communities and some lawmakers have taken the state to task for mandating local spending on programs like Medicaid, while limiting local revenue.
Wednesday in an appearance on the public radio program Capitol Pressroom with Susan Arbetter, Cuomo defended the cap--and talked about why he thinks it's an important--but not inescapable--guideline for local governments:
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Governor Andrew Cuomo said his 2% property tax cap is a “wake up call” for local governments. He said the cap is intended to compel communities to make do with what residents can afford to pay:
"They don’t have it, the equity in their house isn’t going up, the value in their house isn’t going up, their paycheck isn’t going up. You can’t ask for what people don’t have. So deal with the same economic reality the taxpayer has to deal with."
Cuomo pointed out that if communities can’t make their budgets work without raising property taxes more than two percent, there is a mechanism in place to override the cap:
"If a community says I want my taxes to go up 20%, every block should have a fire engine, if you want to pay for that god bless you."