Lewis County Wants To Hike Its Sales Tax

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Like many counties, Lewis County has been feeling a financial pinch and its leaders blame Albany.

"More state-mandated programs, cuts in reimbursement from the state, and that all adds up to more property taxes," said Mike Tabolt, chair of the county Legislature.

Now the county wants Albany to be part of the solution.

It's asking the state to approve a hike in the county's sales tax by a quarter percent.

Several county lawmakers changed their minds after rejecting the same idea five months ago. 

"I got to thinking, you know, this is a very fair tax. Everybody on the planet pays the tax," said county Legislator John Boyd.

But as other counties have learned, asking for a sales tax increase is the easy part.

Getting Albany's okay is a different story.

"That's where it gets a little difficult," said Tabolt.

Tabolt says there is an understanding that state Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush (R. - 117th District) and state Senator Joe Griffo (R. - 47th District) would back the county's request.

"But they have made it very clear that there's no guarantees - it depends on the mood of the Senate and Assembly," said Tabolt.

Raising the sales tax might bring in an extra $600,000 a year for the county.

Monday, November 24, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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