SLC State Senators Will Back Sales Tax Increase
The state senators who represent St. Lawrence County have agreed to the county's request to raise its sales tax from three percent to four percent, county legislature chairman Jonathan Putney said Thursday afternoon.
The about-face by state senators Joseph Griffo and Patty Ritchie, who have long opposed the increase, is "a major victory for county taxpayers," Putney said.
County officials made the sales tax increase one of the key elements of the county solving its serious financial problems. As they increase sales tax, county officials have pledged to reduce property taxes over five years.
The support of Griffo, Ritchie and state Senator Betty Little was necessary because of a peculiarity in state law: counties can't set their own sales tax rate - they first have to get permission from the state legislature.
Ritchie spokeswoman Sarah Compo told 7 News Ritchie introduced the neccessary legislation Thursday, and that it's identical to legislation in the state Assembly from assemblywoman Addie Russell.
St. Lawrence County legislature finance committee chairman Fred Morrill told 7 News reporter John Friot "I am excited the legislation has been introduced and I hope it moves forward and is voted upon."
Monday, May 30, 2016, Watertown, NY
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