County legislator tries unsuccessfully to cut sales tax by a penny

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 August 2023 at 11:28 am

County Legislator Don Allport

ALBION – Orleans County Legislator Don Allport, R-Gaines, would like to see the sales tax rate in the county drop by a penny, from 8 to 7 cents.

Allport said residents have felt the squeeze in their pocketbooks from soaring inflation. Reducing the sales tax by a penny would add up in a big way for many residents and businesses, Allport said during Tuesday’s County Legislature meeting.

The state and county each take in 4 cents for every taxable dollar. Those 4 cents added up to $22.5 million for Orleans County in 2022, with about $1.3 million of that distributed to the 10 towns and four villages.

The county used to get 3 cents, but raised it to 4 cents on June 1, 1993. The county needs State Legislature permission every two years to keep the 4-cent tax.

That extra penny translates to about $5.6 million. Without that, the county would face a steep property tax increase or would have to significantly scale back services, other county legislators said.

Allport cast the lone vote against seeking to keep the local sales tax rate at 4 cents.

“If we were allowed to go back to 3 percent that would put $5 million back into the economy,” Allport said. “We should be lowering taxes on the economy.”