On April 11, 2011, Westchester State Assemblyman George Latimer vanished from the Assembly Chamber and failed to vote on a measure bringing Governor Cuomo’s Property Tax Cap legislation to the floor of State Assembly.
As a result, the Property Tax Cap failed to pass the State Assembly.
While Assemblyman Latimer was “Absent” for the Property Tax Cap vote at 7:18 p.m., he was present to vote for the New York State Fair Pay Act at 7:07 p.m. and a bill expanding rent control at 8:17 p.m.
In fact, he was present and voted for four bills between 4:58 p.m. and 7:07 p.m. on April 11th, but just happened to miss a vote that would have protected Westchester property taxpayers.
He did, however, manage to vote for legislation expanding rent control—95% of rent controlled apartments are in New York City—which would allow people earning $300,000 per year to qualify for rent-controlled apartments.
Why did Assemblyman Latimer abandon overburdened Westchester homeowners and disappear from the Assembly Chamber—even though he stayed to support New York City renters?
This is reminiscent of Westchester State Senator Suzi Oppenheimer’s decision to take a cruise to Alaska in 2008 when the State Senate first voted on and passed a Property Tax Cap bill. At that time, the Westchester Journal News’ Phil Reisman noted “that even had she been present for the Albany session she would have voted against a cap.”
Westchester homeowners pay the highest property taxes in the state. The average property tax bill in Westchester County is over $10,500 per year. And our property tax bills grew by 67% between 1995 and 2005.
And for those who don’t think a property tax cap would make a difference, if the property tax cap that Senator Oppenheimer didn’t vote for had become law, property taxpayers in her state senate district would have saved $11.6 million in the first year alone!
If Senator Oppenheimer and Assemblyman Latimer can’t even show up to fight for Westchester property taxpayers, what are they doing to represent us in Albany?
Call Assemblyman Latimer at (914) 777-3832.
Call Senator Oppenheimer at (914) 934-5250.