11 towns join Ogdensburg to get bigger slice of sales tax pie

WWNY 11 towns join Ogdensburg to get bigger slice of sales tax pie

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - It’s the latest salvo in St. Lawrence County’s sales tax war - 11 towns have joined Ogdensburg in a push to increase their slice of the sales tax pie.

Eleven town supervisors voted Tuesday to support Ogdensburg in sales tax negotiations. Ogdensburg wants to change how the county shares sales tax with municipalities.

“We believe in collectively working together as the city, the villages and the towns to help and assist each other,” said Bill Nelson, Lisbon town supervisor.

County officials, more than one year ago, proposed reducing Ogdensburg’s share. They say the current system is unfair to villages and towns. Ogdensburg receives more than any other municipality.

“We felt that that was an inequity that needed to be adjusted,” said Kevin Acres, county legislator.

But so far, towns and villages don’t seem to be buying it. Both the mayors' and town supervisors' associations have now voted to follow Ogdensburg’s lead.

“The worm has turned on them and I believe they wish they had not gotten into this fight,” said Mike Skelly, Ogdensburg mayor.

Ogdensburg’s proposal would hike the combined take of the city, towns and villages 26 percent to $31.4 million. The county would see its share drop 18 percent to $29.1 million.

Nelson and Gouverneur Mayor Ron McDougall will now sit on Ogdensburg’s sales tax negotiating committee. County officials say they plan to convene a negotiating session soon.

Copyright 2020 WWNY. All rights reserved.