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Sun., Aug. 30
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This is how the tax cap works


A few months ago, we asked public officials a simple question: Is the property tax cap strong enough?
The property tax cap limits increases in the tax levy to 2 percent annually. Of course, that cap can be overridden with a 60 percent vote.
What good will that do when a public body only has five members? Three out of five is more than 60 percent — and that's the simple majority they would have needed anyway.
In addition, most budgets pass with more than a 60-percent majority anyway. So maybe it's not as much of a game-changer as some argued.
But, legislators who voted for the package argued, it will raise the public consciousness of the issue. The public will say: Hey, wait, you want to raise my property taxes by more than 2 percent? But what of this cap?
That's exactly what could happen in St. Lawrence County, where a public meeting on exceeding the tax cap is expected to bring out a whole mess of people.
And then there's the ballot box solution if people don't like it.
The next question is: Will that public consciousness persist through the years? We'll see much ado about this property tax cap the first year around, though, as St. Lawrence County is adeptly proving.

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