A statewide coalition of elected officials on Thursday released a letter opposing Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to “freeze” property taxes on the local government level.

The letter was organized by the NY Inequality Coalition, a group that is opposed to the plan.

Cuomo’s $142 billion budget proposal would create a mechanism for local property owners to essentially receive two years of no tax increases.

The first year, local officials must budget within the state’s 2 percent cap on property tax increases.

In the second year, the local government must take “meaningful steps” toward sharing services to qualify for the freeze.

The move is designed to find cost savings at the local level, where Cuomo believes there are too many governments and taxing districts.

Cuomo has urged state lawmakers to represent voters, not the local leaders who oppose the plan, saying they don’t want to make the tough budget choices themselves.

In the letter, the officials note they’ve gone years without an increase in aid to municipalities funding:

Local governments have been sharing services and consolidating where appropriate for years. We have taken extensive steps to curtail spending — without hurting the good government services our communities expect.

Aid and Incentive to Municipalities (AIM revenue sharing) is down 75% since 1980 (in inflation-adjusted dollars). School districts and our cities, towns and villages are struggling to provide basic services to residents. Local budgets have been stretched to the limit, reserve funds have been depleted and services have been streamlined.

A complete list of who signed on to the letter is here. The full letter is after the jump.

Dear Albany:

Our cities, towns, and villages have been cutting vital services like police, fire, and sanitation while putting off much-needed infrastructure investments.

The current “tax freeze” proposal will only exacerbate the problems we face on a daily basis. We do not believe the $1 billion property tax freeze as proposed in the Executive Budget is practical.

Local governments have been sharing services and consolidating where appropriate for years. We have taken extensive steps to curtail spending — without hurting the good government services our communities expect.

Aid and Incentive to Municipalities (AIM revenue sharing) is down 75% since 1980 (in inflation-adjusted dollars). School districts and our cities, towns and villages are struggling to provide basic services to residents. Local budgets have been stretched to the limit, reserve funds have been depleted and services have been streamlined.

Tight budgets have already forced the sharing of services and consolidation of departments as we routinely look for ways to provide the services our communities expect and deserve. Local officials and our constituents keep a close eye on government finances, providing a high level of scrutiny.

We urge you to reject forced property tax freezes and forced consolidation and mergers.