The New York State United Teachers union filed a lawsuit today to challenge the state’s 2 percent cap on property tax increases, taking aim at one of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s signature economic achievements.

The legal challenge, filed in state Supreme Court in Albany, takes issue with the cap because it “arbitrarily” limits tax levy hikes under a complex formula that ultimately extends the funding gap between rich and poor school districts.

“We believe very strongly in the principle that every student, no matter where they live or go to school, should have the opportunity to receive a quality public education,” said NYSUT President Richard Iannuzzi in a statement. “In challenging the constitutionality of the tax cap, we are fighting for that principle, just as we are fighting for the democratic principles of ‘one person, one vote’ and for the right of citizens, through local control of their schools, to determine for themselves how much they want to spend on their own community’s schools.”

The union also charges that the cap restrains local control over a school district, a function that is guaranteed in the state’s Constitution.

Taking direct aim at the override provision that allows a 60 percent majority to blow through the cap, the union says that violates the guarantee of “one man, one vote.”

“We need to have a meaningful conversation in the public arena about what equity in public education really means,” Iannuzzi said. “We can no longer accept an education funding system which denies poor students the same life-enriching educational opportunities provided to students in more affluent communities, sometimes just a few miles away. The state’s undemocratic tax cap is exacerbating glaring inequities in funding while pushing many school districts to the brink of educational and financial insolvency.”

Cuomo has staunchly defended the tax cap, passed in June 2011 as part of a largely deal to extend rent control regulations for the New York City area, as the best possible means of controlling the nation’s highest property taxes.

Most local taxing districts were able to stay within the cap, which includes exceptions for pension and tax base growth, the first year it was in effect.

The governor has also touted the 60 percent override feature as a guarantee of local control over the cap, which he says empowers voters more than under the previous system.

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