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Congresswoman Tenney: Report Highlights Opportunity to Reduce New Yorkers Oppressive Property Tax Burden

Tenney Calls on House Leadership to Bring up Property Tax Reduction Act for a Vote

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Washington, July 13, 2018 | comments

Washington, D.C.— In light of a recent report stating that property taxes could be reduced by an average of 27 percent in New York if the state paid for counties share of Medicaid costs, today Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-22) is calling on the House to bring up and pass the Property Tax Reduction Act. This bill would prohibit states from passing Medicaid costs on to counties, relieving Upstate counties of Albany’s property tax mandate. This bill will relieve counties of more than $2.3 billion in Albany mandates and $167 million in the 22nd District.

“This report highlights what the overburdened taxpayers in New York know already: No other state in the country abuses its local governments and taxpayers quite like Albany to fund an expensive Medicaid program. This is money that would otherwise be used to fund our schools, improve our roads, and support our first responders,” said Congresswoman Claudia Tenney. “This bill does not propose cuts to any programs in the 22nd District. Rather, it requires Albany to manage its Medicaid program the way every other state in the nation does and to stop passing costs onto already strapped county governments. It will simply force the state to work over a period of several years to responsibly reduce the unfair and unreasonable Medicaid liability that has been forced onto our counties.”

From the Democrat and Chronicle: “A new report this week said if the state paid for the counties' share of Medicaid costs, it would provide $8 billion in relief to county governments — an average of a 27 percent reduction in county taxes. For some counties, their share of the state's $70 billion Medicaid program takes up as much as 79 percent of their total property tax revenue.”

Unlike the 17 other states that mandate counties contribute something to Medicaid, New York requires its counties to cover an unreasonably large share of the non-federal state Medicaid obligation. New York counties are required to cover around 13 percent of the state’s share of Medicaid, which, in 2015, amounted to $7.5 billion. This is seven times more than the next most costly state-county share plan in California, which requires counties to contribute about $1 billion each year despite spending more on Medicaid than New York.

Out of all 50 states, New York burdens its counties with the highest percentage of its Medicaid responsibility. New York transferred more than $7 billion of its nonfederal Medicaid burden to counties in the fiscal year 2015. This is nearly seven times more than counties in California are forced to pay, even though California outstrips New York’s Medicaid program in both enrollment and expenditures.

The bill would not apply to funds contributed by larger municipalities, such as New York City. States would also be permitted to rely on county contributions to cover administrative costs.

 

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