County sales tax plan not a crowd pleaser

Distribution to suburbs remains flat as city’s increases $600k

— Legislature Vice Chairwoman Karen Johnson, D-Schenectady, said it would be risky for the city to choose a preemptive sales tax option and collect taxes itself. Johnson said some of the public doesn’t “totally understand” the situation, which has led to some “adverse comments.”

“I think they wisely determined that this was their best opportunity,” Johnson said. “Some of the members (in the legislature) that represent the city feel very strongly that they made the right decision.”

At the legislature meeting, Jason Planck, a Schenectady resident, claimed the city has lost around $4 million in sales tax over the last four years.

“You’re offering nothing to the city, and on top of it all, where are the towns and the villages?” Planck asked.

Legislator Gary Hughes, D-Schenectady, said if the city were to collect its own taxes the revenue would be much lower at $10.5 million. Also, he said the county doesn’t have any funds left after paying for mandates and sales tax revenue doesn’t cover the cost.

“There is not, in fact, money left on the table,” Hughes said. “I believe we are being fair to the cities and fair to the towns.”

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