State Legislature approves sales tax extension for Orleans and other counties

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 June 2017 at 8:03 am

County officials throughout New York are breathing a sign of relief after the State Legislature approved extensions for the counties to collect 4 cents in sales tax for every taxable dollar.

The state and county both get 4 cents for each taxable dollar. The counties used to collect 3 cents, but added a penny about three decades ago to help pay for the rising costs of Medicaid and other government services, many of them state mandated.

That extra penny raises about $4 million in Orleans County. Every two years, the counties need the State Legislature’s permission to collect the additional cent in sales tax.

The State Legislature ended its session this year without renewing the sales tax extenders, putting $1.8 billion in revenue in jeopardy for 53 counties in New York.

The State Legislature was called back to Albany for an “extraordinary session” on Wednesday, and the sales tax extenders were approved.

William E. Cherry, president of the New York State Association of Counties, issued this statement:

“On behalf of the 57 counties and City of New York, we commend State Lawmakers for passing county home rule sales tax measures in Extraordinary Session this week. We are pleased that State Leaders reached agreements that paved the way for passage of a measure that includes a three-year extension of sales, occupancy, mortgage recording and real estate transfer taxes; and a two year extension for mayoral control of the New York City School System. The Governor is expected to promptly sign this legislation.

“We particularly applaud the efforts of the State Senate for ensuring that county sales tax extenders were taken up during this week’s Extraordinary Session. It has been the tradition of the Senate to work on behalf of the interests of counties and local property taxpayers outside of New York City. They upheld that tradition this week.

“We also commend the many members of the State Assembly who stood up for their communities in support of this legislation.

“New York is a large and diverse state, with many different needs and interests that impact students, families, businesses, and communities. As we continue to govern during these most uncertain times, it is imperative that all levels of government continue working together, not against each other, for the good of all New Yorkers.”

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