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New York state lawmakers try to tie up loose ends

June 28, 2017 06:15 PM

ALBANY - State lawmakers are back at the Capitol for a special session called by Governor Cuomo. They're there to talk about mayoral control of New York City schools.

As NewsChannel 13 reported on Tuesday, there's also an unfinished issue that could cost you in double-digit property tax increases.

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Those sales tax extenders are in discussion between leaders, but as of Wednesday evening, there were no deals. Assembly Democrats say they have received assurances the extensions will be passed with plenty of time for budget season.

What's known as an extraordinary session involved a whole lot of sitting around.

"We gaveled in and immediately the leadership said you're at ease," pointed out Republican Assem. Pete Lopez of Schoharie.

Rank and file members were left with little to do, not knowing what they'd be voting on, while Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan joined Speaker Carl Heastie and Governor Andrew Cuomo on the second floor.  They emerged Wednesday afternoon with no word of a deal on anything, even after calling these lawmakers back.

"You should never come back for a special session after you've left if you don't have an agenda that's in place," advised Republican Senator Jim Tedisco of Glenville.

While downstate lawmakers are there for mayoral control of schools, upstate lawmakers care about giving permission to counties to charge an extra percentage point in sales tax.

Without the extenders, landowners could see double-digit property tax increases as counties try to make up the lost revenue. It's usually not an issue. However, this year, Assembly leadership saw a political opportunity and attached it to mayoral control of New York City schools.

"I don't understand why we continuously do these extenders. The reality is we're not going back to a seven percent sales tax," avowed Democratic Assem. Phil Steck of Colonie.

"We have, basically, these three leaders circling each other like sumo wrestlers and stomping on the public and walking through the community with no end in sight," explained Lopez.

Credits

AP

(Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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