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Governor Cuomo signing the tax cap legislation in Erie County in July 2011. Photo: <a href=" http://www.flickr.com/photos/governorandrewcuomo/5905851299/">Governor Cuomo's office</a> via Flickr
Governor Cuomo signing the tax cap legislation in Erie County in July 2011. Photo: Governor Cuomo's office via Flickr

Administration tries to axe teachers' union lawsuit

New York is trying to get a lawsuit by the state's largest teachers' union tossed out of court.

New York State United Teachers filed a lawsuit earlier this year, claiming that the state's tax cap has created inequities between wealthy and poor districts.

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The cap limits growth in property taxes to two percent a year, or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower. It went into effect in 2011.

According to the Democrat and Chronicle newspaper of Rochester, the state claims the law is constitutional and asked this month for dismissal of the lawsuit.

Governor Cuomo, who is named in the suit, has called the tax cap a major success. He says it has put on the brakes, in a state where property taxes are among the highest in the nation.

But school officials say costs for pensions and health care are rising, and the cap has hindered their ability to raise revenue. Many districts have cut staff and services, but they haven't gotten relief from the state's unfunded, mandated programs.

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