On Property Taxes, Connor and Squadron Mostly Agree

Since Dean Skelos, the new State Senate majority leader, has said he will make addressing property taxes a major priority, and it’s likely that taxes will be an issue in the upcoming election, I recently asked both candidates in the 25th Senate District about their positions on the issue.

Incumbent Marty Connor favors raising taxes on the wealthy (a "relatively small" hike, he wrote), while his challenger, Dan Squadron, wants to look to the federal government to guarantee school funds in exchange for tax cuts for the middle class. Squadron, if he wins, would likely have access to Washington because of his former boss, Chuck Schumer.

Both are opposed to a blanket property tax cap, and Connor supports a "circuit breaker" that would allow some residents to qualify for a property tax refund. Squadron hasn’t ruled out a circuit breaker.

Here’s what Connor e-mailed a couple of days ago:

"I do not support a property tax cap. I support a circuit breaker to target lowered property taxes to poor and middle class property owners. The circuit breaker would be based on income and would generate substantial savings for working and middle class property taxpayers. The funds for this program would come from a relatively small income tax increase on the highest earners in the State."

Squadron, who I spoke to when he made an unannounced appearance yesterday at a rally that Connor also attended, told me:

"Instead of a one-size-fits-all property tax cap, I’d like to see a solution that both cuts middle class taxes, which we desperately need to do, and guarantees funding for education. A circuit breaker is one way to do that. There are other ways to do that that guarantee an increase in federal funding in exchange for making the property tax [lower] across the middle class."
On Property Taxes, Connor and Squadron Mostly Agree