June 23, 2008

New Yorkers prefer circuit breaker over tax cap

Source: NYSUT News Wire

New Yorkers want relief from how much they pay in taxes, as opposed to simply limiting school spending, a new survey shows.

A recent poll conducted by tax policy group TREND NY found New Yorkers overwhelmingly support legislation that would limit a taxpayer’s total property taxes to a percentage of their income, also known as a circuit breaker. NYSUT supports such legislation as one way of providing taxpayer relief.

“New Yorkers support their schools,” said NYSUT Executive Vice President Alan Lubin. “While property tax relief is needed, a cap is too arbitrary and too destructive to education. It’s clearly the wrong approach and this poll confirms that when voters understand their choices, a circuit breaker is the way to go.”

TREND NY surveyed 500 registered voters. By more than a two-to-one margin, respondents preferred an income-based cap on their taxes over a cap on local school levies. When given the specific choice of a 4 percent school tax cap or a limit of 5 percent of their income for their total property tax bill, voters favored the circuit breaker five to one.

“In the past, poorly worded polls that didn’t explain the different types of caps have led the public into thinking that the only way overburdened New Yorkers can be helped would be to limit school levies,” TREND Director Robert McKeon said. “The truth is that a traditional tax cap will at best curb future increases, while a circuit breaker would provide immediate relief to many taxpayers and ensure New Yorkers against unreasonable levels in the future. Taxpayers want a more equitable system of taxation, not just controlled spending.”

To see the full poll, visit

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