County Treasurer Urges Quick Action On Sales Tax Increase
If action is taken soon, a St. Lawrence County official says the county could use increased sales tax revenue this year to offset the amount it has to borrow for next year's budget.
County Treasurer Kevin Felt, a Republican, has written a one-page letter to state Sen. Patty Ritchie, also a Republican, urging her to sponsor legislation allowing the county to raise its sales tax from 3 to 4 percent.
Felt says if legislation is introduced and passed by the state Legislature this month, the county would be able to collect an additional $3 million in sales tax revenue that has not been budgeted for.
"Given the fiscal tightrope that St. Lawrence County is facing," Felt wrote, "having one full quarter of unbudgeted additional sales tax revenue would allow the county to reduce the amount of cash needed to borrow for 2014 cash flow needs."
Felt says it would also allow the county to restore a "sustainable fund balance while it weathers the current economic storm of increased pension payments, increased health insurance costs and cuts to state aid."
Ritchie has repeatedly refused to introduce the necessary "home rule" legislation as has Sen. Joseph Griffo.
They, along with Plattsburgh-area Sen. Betty Little, represent St. Lawrence County.
Sunday, December 8, 2013, Watertown, NY
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