With a tie vote, Lewis County legislators Tuesday night rejected a proposed increase in the county's sales tax .
The increase was 0.25 percent, and would have raised the county's share of sales tax collected to 4 percent. The total collected at the cash register - the state's share plus the county's share - would have been 8 percent.
"It's just inevitable that's we're going to have to increase taxes next year in some form or manner," said Philip Hathway, who represents the Harrisville area and who proposed the increase.
Lewis County, like the rest of the state, faces increases in Medicaid-related expenses and retirement costs.
"It's not nice to have to raise a tax, but we know we're going to have increases," Hathway said.
"I just feel the sales tax is one of the most fair taxes," said legislature chairman Jack Bush. "It spreads the tax out to neverybody in the county, visitors, instead of the landowners."
Other legislators weren't convinced.
"I think the people are taxed out," said legislator Jerry King.
Even if the Lewis legislature had passed the salkes tax increase, it was unclear whether it would have won approval in the state legislature. The north country's state senators have refused to help St. Lawrence County with a similar request.
Monday, May 30, 2016, Watertown, NY
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