Letter: Keep sales tax local

Dear Editor,

Since 2019, $677 million in local sales tax money has been sent to the state’s general fund. Originally intended to help the state and Cuomo’s budget mismanagement to facilitate the state’s obligation for Aid to Municipalities program to benefit towns and villages. Later used to bolster funding for distressed health care facilities. 

More recently the state is using local tax revenue surge to relieve the burdens of post-pandemic restrictions to ease shutdowns of businesses and public spaces. County government officials this week said it’s time to end the practice. 

County leaders, at their winter convention in Albany, and while the state budget remains under negotiation, reflected the need to stop this practice now that the state still has ample funds available provided by the Federal government and the fact that revenue from the sales tax has surged in recent months.  

Many statements made were, “It’s time to get our state back to normal, and that means returning to responsible budgeting that keeps local tax revenue in their local communities,” “Local tax revenue should stay in the community where it is collected,” and, “This is money that is meant to stay local to support local parks, community colleges, meals for seniors, day care services, 911 programs, and mental health and addiction services, it is not for footing the bill for state and federal responsibilities.”  

The fact that local and county elected officials do budgets which incorporate collected sales tax in their assessed tax rates should be of concern to all. New York State continues to place their priorities by having a one-party government in Albany. 

Everyone concerned should reach out to say Stop, but those especially who are registered Democrats should use that vote of influence to be on board and call Governor Hochul out to negotiate in good faith for all taxpayers in all 62 Counties. The diversion of retaining a portion of local sales tax in Albany’s general budget needs to stop in this budget cycle. 

Contact www.governor.ny.gov/content/governor-contact-form or call 1-518-474-8390. Office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or write to the New York State Capitol Building, Albany, N.Y. 12224. 


Florence Alpert

Candor, N.Y.

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