Sales tax deal reached between city and Schenectady County

"Our Medicaid costs have escalated from $18 million per year to over $32 million this coming year, so in order to offset those, the county does need a significant amount of sales tax, but at the same time there's some growth for all the municipalities in Schenectady County," said Gardner.

Councilman Mark Blanchfield, who voted against the agreement, said he's worried such a commitment would stymie growth.

"The economy isn't going to stay failed forever, and I proposed that if they want to keep the city flat for a few years that's OK, just give the city a chance to grow some time in the future," said Blanchfield.

Gardner said the sales tax agreement between the county and the city is in the same vein of collaboration that has existed between the two entities for some time. He thanked the Council for giving the new agreement the OK.

"[The county] has a very good working relationship with the city of Schenectady," said Gardner. "We collaborate on the police grant, the green house; we are collaborating on the courthouse, and I think in the past five years you've seen a really remarkable turnaround in the city of Schenectady with economic development." ""

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