State Sen. Betty Little says she understands the budget constraints faced by local governments but hopes town and county leaders don't have to override the state's 2 percent property tax cap.
Little said she stands behind the cap, even as she watches local governments across the North Country take steps to possibly override it.
"We have to reduce property taxes," Little said last week. "We're losing people in New York state. We have a reputation of being a highly taxed state, and this would help us reduce our taxes."
Little said she understands the reasons why some towns and counties are considering overriding the cap, mainly the rising, often uncontrollable, expenses they are facing.
"I have communities in my district where one percent on their tax levy is $18,000, and so a two percent tax cap is really limiting," Little said. "But we have to look at ways to be more efficient and how we can do it. I think the public will understand when there are capital needs or reasons that are beyond their control. But the fact is that people want property taxes reduced.
"I would hope that as they get to their final budget, they'll see that they won't have to go over the cap. But that will require tough decisions, that's for sure."