Ogdensburg has new ideas for sales tax split

WWNY Ogdensburg has new ideas for sales tax split

CANTON, N.Y. (WWNY) - They’re not giving up. St. Lawrence County and Ogdensburg are back at the table on sales tax. Ogdenburg has new proposals.

County and Ogdensburg officials are trying again to negotiate a new sales tax split. The first meeting was more than a year ago. Some say it could take awhile still.

“Once we have the census numbers, which we probably will receive those sometime in March, then we can do an assessment of what the financial numbers mean for the city of Ogdensburg,” said Kevin Acres, St. Lawrence County Legislature finance chair.

County officials contend the nearly $3.9 million split Ogdensburg gets may not reflect its current population. On Thursday, Ogdensburg officials came up with new proposals.

“I focused on the towns and villages, getting them a fair share, since they were so shortchanged,” said Mike Skelly, Ogdensburg mayor.

A 5-year proposal would double the split for towns and villages. Ogdensburg’s share would not change. A 10-year proposal would keep the overall split exactly as it is now. Those are longer than past agreements.

“For stability, for all of us. The county the towns the villages and the city,” said Skelly.

Ogdensburg is asking for something back. It wants the county to take over its police dispatching and property tax collection. The county says it can talk about those.

“The sharing of the services, that’s something we can talk about,” said Acres. “The county is interested in working on them.”

Ogdensburg has invited Lisbon Town Supervisor Bill Nelson and Gouverneur Mayor Ron McDougall onto the negotiating committee.

The talks have gone on for a long time. Early last year, the two sides seemed to be close to a settlement. But that never happened."

The sales tax pot has grown even richer because it’s now collected on internet sales. That has upped the stakes in these negotiations.

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