Cuomo maintains political pressure over property tax plan
In a speech in Rochester Thursday. Gov. Andrew Cuomo kept up pressure on local governments to cut their budgets.
His speech was part of a series of appearances to sell what he calls his 'grand-slam' budget.
Cuomo touted four consecutive fiscal years of on-time budgets, something he says hasn't happened since the Rockefeller era.
The governor continued to highlight state efforts to cut taxes, but focused on what he called "unsustainable property taxes" levied by municipalities.
The pressure is being applied through the Property Tax Rebate Program that is tied to local governments keeping taxes under the governor's tax cap rate. Cuomo says they've got to consolidate services.
"Why does everybody have to snow plowing? Why does everybody have to do purchasing? Why does everybody have to do HR? Just find savings where you can share services, share functions, and bring the costs one percent a year," Cuomo said.
Cities and counties have complained they can’t continue consolidating services, but Cuomo insists there's more to do.
"I know local governments say they can't cut anymore; they are as efficient as they can be. I understand that. The truth is a little different in my opinion," he said. "We have the highest property taxes in the United States of America."
Based on statements from Rob Astorino, the Republican gubernatorial candidate, taxes will likely play an important role in this year's election.