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Cuomo in Lake Placid to outline legislative agenda

He did dole out some credit, noting that lawmakers passed an on-time budget earlier this spring - a budget that made substantive changes in Albany.

"This was a much different experience than in the past," Cuomo said. "The budget was honest, there were no gimmicks in it, it was balanced, and it was on-time. Government actually performed."

But that's where the praise stopped. Turning to property taxes, Cuomo told the crowd that New York counties rank among the top tier nationwide. On average, property owners in the U.S. pay about $1,900 in taxes annually.

In New York, that number nearly doubles to $3,700.

"The very simple truth is that New York has no economic future as the tax capitol of the nation," Cuomo said. "Businesses will leave, people will leave - we know that, because we're experiencing it."

Cuomo's plan would cap property tax growth for school districts and local governments at 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. And his plan leaves little wiggle room for governments who have no other choice - for school boards, it would take a 60 percent vote to pass a budget raising taxes more than the governor's cap. For local governments, it would require a two-thirds vote by lawmakers.

This proposal has been a hit with taxpayers, but not everyone is sold.

"Everybody wants a property tax cap, but nobody wants the services cut that are provided to them," said Randy Douglas, who chairs the Essex County Board of Supervisors.

He says the governor needs to attach meaningful mandate relief to a cap on tax growth. Otherwise, governments like Essex County will be forced to make significant cuts to services.

"The governor's cut this year was $300,000 out of home health care for Essex County," Douglas explained. "If a property tax cap went through, it's $130,000 and every $130,000 is one percent on the tax levy. Right there, if we cut that program, there's our two percent. Those are the issues we're faced with in Essex County as government officials."

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