O’burg mayor launches new fight for sales tax money

O’burg mayor launches new fight for sales tax money

OGDENSBURG, N.Y. (WWNY) - Less than 12 hours after agreeing to extend Ogdensburg’s sales tax agreement with St. Lawrence County, Ogdensburg’s mayor has a plan for more money for the maple city - and all towns and villages in the county.

Ogdensburg is enlisting villages and towns in the fight for a bigger slice of sales tax pie. A new proposal from Mayor Mike Skelly would add millions of dollars to their slice, and about $400,000 a year to Ogdensburg’s.

“It’s the right thing to do. And I love that Ogdensburg has been given this opportunity to make a difference for the whole county,” Skelly told 7 News Tuesday.

The Ogdensburg city council just approved a temporary extension of the current sales tax split. For his new plan, Skelly sought reaction from some town and village officials.

“So far it has been very positive. Very positive,” Skelly said.

Gouverneur mayor Ron McDougall, chairman of the county-wide association of mayors, is backing the plan.

“It’s fairness. Equality. Sharing the sales tax revenue during good times, bad times, moderate times,” McDougall said.

County legislature chairman Joseph Lightfoot said Tuesday he hadn’t seen Skelly’s proposal, but called it “interesting” when it was described to him.

The county, villages and towns share in half of all sales tax collected. Skelly maintains the county continues to ring up big fund balances because of healthy sales tax collections. He says it’s time some of that extra money went to municipalities.

The split Skelly proposes would give $6 million more to the towns and villages.

Skelly says he could pull out of the sales tax agreement with the county altogether if it doesn’t go along. Under that scenario, Ogdensburg would collect its own sales tax.

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