Medina wants bigger slice of county’s sales tax pie

Photos by Tom Rivers: Medina Mayor Mike Sidari, left, and Village Trustee Tim Elliott are shown at Monday’s Village Board meeting. They both want more local sales tax to come to the village. The local sales tax totaled $22.5 million in Orleans County in 2022, with $149,638 coming to the Village of Medina.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 March 2023 at 9:20 am

Towns and villages have been at same amount since 2001

MEDINA – The Village Board says it’s long overdue for Medina to receive more of the local sales tax.

The sales tax has been on a big increase locally in recent years. It totaled $22.5 million in Orleans County in 2022, according to the state comptroller.

The county shares $1,366,671 of that with the 10 towns and four villages. They have been frozen at that level since 2001.

The Village of Medina was allocated $149,638 in sales tax in 2022 from the county.

Village officials say Medina provides many services to the community, from police and fire protection, to roads, snow plowing, parks and many other quality-of-life issues, and wants to keep making improvements.

However, it isn’t able to tap into more in the local sales tax because the County Legislature won’t change the revenue-sharing formula.

Mayor Mike Sidari said more of the sales tax would help to tamp down the village tax rates, which are among the highest in the Finger Lakes Region.

“We get hammered by our residents that our taxes are going up but we don’t get any help from the county,” Sidari said.

Orleans County’s sales tax revenue is up by $4.8 million or 27 percent in the past three years. In 2019, the sales tax collections were at $17.7 million, followed by $19.4 million in 2020, $21.8 million in 2021 and $22.5 million last year, according to the state comptroller’s office.

Richard Moy, the Clarendon town supervisor, is urging officials from all 10 towns and four villages in the county to press the Legislature to give more of the sales tax to the local municipalities.

The $1,366,671 to the towns and villages represents 6.1 percent of the total local sales tax in the county. Moy wants the county to get to 14 percent shared with the towns and villages. That’s the level the county was at in 1996, Moy said in a letter to town and village boards in the county.

At 14 percent that would more than double what the towns and villages are currently getting.

Medina officials want more of the money, but they also want more rationale from the county on why the amounts haven’t been increased since 2001.

Medina officials want a breakdown of where the sales tax is collected in the county by zip code. Trustee Tim Elliott believes Medina, with its many small and larger businesses, is a big sales tax generator for the county.

The community’s efforts to provide services and goods should be recognized and rewarded with more of the sales tax coming directly to the village.

“I think the legislators will give us a raise but I don’t think it’s what we want, and what we deserve,” he said.