Finch, Colleagues and County Executives Unveil Plan to Deliver Billions in Property Tax Cuts

March 12, 2018

Assemblyman Gary D. Finch (R,C,I-Corning) today joined his colleagues to roll out the Assembly Republicans’ latest proposal to cut taxes and stimulate the economy- a state takeover of New York’s byzantine Medicaid program.

Over 10 years, the state would completely take over all Medicaid costs for every county outside of New York City. Within 20 years, the state would take over half of New York City’s Medicaid costs.

Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro, Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo and Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus all endorse the proposal.

If enacted, county governments would be required to pass the savings directly to property taxpayers.

“This is the most significant economic challenge facing New York. The million people who have fled our state since 2010 were running from high property taxes. If we can get this done, local governments would save nearly $6 billion once the program is fully phased in. They would be required to pass every penny of that savings onto property taxpayers. The governor likes to blame municipal leaders for high property taxes. We’d rather work with them and implement a concrete solution,” said Finch.

Finch said centralizing the program would decrease aggregate spending by making it much easier to realize and implement efficiencies.

Finch wants some money currently being allocated to the governor’s failed economic development programs, including tax credits for Hollywood Film studios, to offset Medicaid costs instead. Their proposal would also inject $700 million in unexpected state tax revenue directly to the program’s first two years. Additionally, funds that are currently distributed as property tax rebates would be bundled and repurposed to pay for Medicaid.

“Six billion in savings for local property taxpayers is really game-changing,” said Finch. “We know the recent state income tax reduction made a difference for the middle class, and that was $1 billion. This is real tax relief.”

“Lowering taxes is economic development, period,” said Finch. “Budgeting becomes about priorities. In the context of a budget that tops $168 billion, there is plenty of state revenue to pay for this. Thirty-two states already do this. You can’t convince me we don’t have the resources.”

Finch said cutting property taxes would help small businesses grow and make our Upstate communities more attractive for new firms.

“If you look at other states, they aren’t more competitive because of gimmicky economic development programs. They have a much better tax climate. This would be a huge step in the right direction,” said Finch.

The Assembly Minority estimate that over $1 billion could be shaved from the program by eliminating waste, fraud and abuse, to say nothing of the savings generated by consolidating administrative costs and streamlining payment systems.