Silver: Tax-freeze checks would only require a plan

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Sheldon Silver. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
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ALBANY—State leaders are preparing to soften Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposal for a property tax “freeze” by eliminating the requirement that school districts and municipalities actually reduce spending, and by giving the localities credit for actions they've taken since the state imposed a two-percent property tax cap.

“They'd show a plan … for how they intend to achieve efficiencies,” said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. “I think there's a desire on our part, there's a desire on the Senate's part, and I think the governor might consider it fair to [do] a certain [look-back].”

Cuomo has pushed for the tax freeze as a way to provide relief to homeowners, and has argued for his plan by decrying the number of municipal entities that exist in the state.

He traveled to suburban Syracuse on Tuesday afternoon to again make his case, and responded to concerns by local officials by noting the world "didn't explode" after the tax cap was passed in 2011. (Separately, his office has rounded up endorsements from 250 local legislators and executives.)

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“It was very hard to get that passed. It was a war in Albany. The local governments were screaming,” Cuomo said. “We passed the property tax cap. You know what? They live within the two percent. The world didn't explode. The state is still functioning, everybody managed to do it.”

Capital first reported the look back on Tuesday morning.