Eliot Spitzer has given his New York State Property Tax Commission the power of subpoena, but commission chairman Tom Suozzi told me today, “I can’t imagine any circumstances that we would use the subpoena powers."
Suozzi–who joined the governor in announcing commission members today in Albany, and was arriving in Rochester to be part of Spitzer’s "Bringing the Budget Home" tour when I spoke to him–went on,"[I]f we try to get information from some entity, we’ll use [subpoenas] if we have to. But I can’t imagine what the circumstance would be.”
“The most important entity is going to be the school districts,” he said, when I asked what groups the commission may want information from.
When I then asked if they will look at groups like the teachers’ union–which opposes limiting property tax because it is a major source of funds–Suozzi said, “I can’t imagine what we would need from them…[there is] no instance that I can think of where we would look at a union specifically.”
But he did add, “Of course we would look at salaries and benefits and pension” and “other costs” related to education professionals.