Secondarily, the passage of the bill happened because four Republicans crossed the aisle and signed on to the legislation in the State Senate. These people should be lauded as they will doubtless face repercussions for stepping out of party ranks. They did what they believed was right, without regard to their political futures.
However, while these two accomplishments are overdue and encouraging, the late night Albany session also produced approvals of several other policies which are going largely unnoticed in all the hoopla.
Buried on page two of this story is a brief mention that also approved was a tuition hike for SUNY Schools that will result in a 30% increase over the next five years. For parents of teen children, this is not small potatoes. This means a year’s expenses that currently cost $19k would rise to almost $25k by 2016.
Also approved was Governor Cuomo’s property tax cap. The cap limits property tax growth to 2% or the rate of inflation in any year. There’s no doubt that New York’s property taxes are ridiculously expensive, but as I’ve written about before, the tax cap is an ugly solution. It virtually guarantees preemptive maximum tax increases every year because local governments and schools can’t take the risk of keeping taxes low and then not being able to cover expenses in future years.
So while marriage equality and non-partisan action are things to feel good about, plan to have your wallet drained for college tuition and property taxes.