Local Senators Have Reservations About Sales Tax Hike

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Republican state Senators Patty Ritchie and Joseph Griffo say despite what appears to be a "softening" of Governor Andrew Cuomo's position to support home rule legislation for a sales tax increase in St. Lawrence County, they still have reservations.
 
During his visit to St. Lawrence County Tuesday, Cuomo said he would support raising the county's sales tax by one percent, only if the state Legislature gave its approval.

Despite that, Ritchie tells 7 News she has no plans to reconsider her previous position and won't sponsor the necessary home rule legislation in the Senate, at least for now.

Griffo, meanwhile, continues as a co-sponsor of a Senate bill allowing five counties, which haven't raised their sales tax to do so.

Griffo also told 7 News he wants an audit of county finances.
 
County Legislative Chair Jonathan Putney says the county has created a 5 year plan to reduce property taxes by increasing the sales tax from 3 to 4 percent.

Putney says the two Senators need to stop "stonewalling" efforts to lower property taxes and introduce the home rule legislation.

Putney said county Legislators will be meeting with Ritchie at the end of the month to discuss the home rule legislation among other issues.

Monday, April 21, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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