Martin Merluzzi has lived in his family's home on Syracuse's east side for 60 years. Over that time, he's watched taxes go up and up while jobs went away. Merluzzi hopes a new property tax cap is a sign of positive change for New York.
"It's a great place to create income and create your dream but people that have money coming in are leaving because of the tax structure," says Merluzzi. "We're being taxed to death."
Today Governor Cuomo signed the bill that will cap property tax increases at 2% a year unless 60% of voters agree to an override.
For many local governments, the tax cap puts them between a rock and a hard place. The rock is state mandates and a hard place would be the inability to raise taxes.
"It's definitely going to force us to work and think differently about how we do business. Consolidation, working with our neighbors even more. sharing equipment," said Geddes Town Supervisor Manny Falcone.
Falcone says services like yard waste pickup may have to be adjusted but the town will do its best to keep everything it now offers. The State Fairgrounds are in Geddes and Falcone wants look at charging vendors a fee - something that's been on the books, but that the town never actively pursued. Falcone says the town will now need every dollar of possible revenue.
"Doing more with less is probably the best way to describe it. What that less is, we're working on it," said Falcone.
The tax cap limits property tax hikes to 2% or the rate of inflation - whichever is lower. This year property tax hikes would have be limited to 1.6%.
From Lancaster, in Erie County, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed his property tax cap bill into law.
Under the new law, property tax increases will be capped at 2% or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. Local communities and voters can override the cap with a 60% vote on the budget for school boards or relevant legislative bodies.