Sales tax deal in the works for Ogdensburg, St. Lawrence County

Updated: Dec. 15, 2020 at 4:46 PM EST
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OGDENSBURG, N.Y. (WWNY) - Ogdensburg and St. Lawrence County may be closer to a sales tax deal. But there are still many steps and votes to go.

Ogdensburg Mayor Mike Skelly says an agreement has been reached: Ogdensburg will get the same share of sales tax it gets now through November 2023.

“It’s going to give us some stability, some time where we can all settle down. We should be united, not separated at this time,” he said.

It’s true the county’s sales tax committee and Ogdensburg have reached an agreement on a two-year extension. But a top county official cautions that it remains only a proposal.

“They haven’t been provided with anything other than ‘this is what we’re thinking of,’” said Joseph Lightfoot, St. Lawrence County Legislature chairman.

The extension still must get “yes” votes in the legislature before Ogdensburg will have anything to sign. The first of those votes could happen Monday at the county finance committee.

County government insiders warn that nothing is set in stone yet when it comes to this sales tax extension deal and that any upcoming votes here in the county legislature could be close – and contentious.”

Mayor Skelly was hopeful about its prospects on Tuesday. There had been proposals floated to strip Ogdensburg of hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales tax revenue.

“It’s good for the county because they don’t need this fight any more than we do,” said Skelly.

Lightfoot said he would have rather seen another deal struck. He thinks a majority of the legislature might also have that view.

“I don’t believe that the legislature is in agreement with it,” he said.

The agreement must also still pass muster with the state comptroller.

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