Sealing sales tax deal between Ogdensburg and county could take more time

WWNY Sealing sales tax deal between Ogdensburg and county could take more time

OGDENSBURG, N.Y. (WWNY) - Even though the city of Ogdensburg and St. Lawrence County seemed to have reached a new sales tax deal, one county official is saying - not so fast. A vote to seal the deal could take some more time.

Years of negotiation over sales tax in St. Lawrence County seemed to come to a close last week when Ogdensburg Mayor Mike Skelly announced Ogdensburg will get the same share of sales tax it now gets through 2023.

At the time, Skelly said it would provide some stability.

But so far, that hasn’t happened. County officials say it’s only a proposal.

“I think emotionally it’s a difficult time for everybody. I think if you put this one issue, a big issue, behind us for a short time, it will be good for everyone,” said Skelly.

A vote on the proposal, expected Monday night, is still up in the air, according to county officials.

“It depends on how the resolution is received; whether or not there are any amendments or changes to it and what effect any of those amendments would have on passing it that night,” said St. Lawrence County Legislature Chair Joe Lightfoot.

With that being said, Mayor Skelly is still confident in the outcome. He says a “yes” vote will give the city more time.

“It’s going to give us time and to research the numbers. We’re looking at how much sales actually comes from Ogdensburg. It’s quite a process,” he said.

Lightfoot has this question for Mayor Skelly: why the rush to vote?

“What you should be doing is concentrating on what you’re going to do to bail the city out of the financial and fiscal mess that it’s in,” said Lightfoot.

Skelly said, “I agree. We should be worried about other things. So, once we put this behind us, we can start worrying on other things and focus on them.”

The resolution is on the agenda for Monday night’s county finance committee. If passed, the agreement must also go before the state comptroller.

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