Schenectady passes sales tax agreement with county
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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- The City of Schenectady passed a sales tax agreement with Schenectady County in an attempt to bridge the looming budget gap.
While the agreement passed four to two, opinions remain strong on the issue. Supporters say there are significant gains to be had since sales tax growth since 1998 has been significant.
Those opposing the plan say the numbers just don't add up. They say the city be getting more than the agreement gives them: A guaranteed $11.7 million each year from county sales tax.
"I think that if we were to be receiving that portion of the growth, our sales taxes would be in a complete different situation. We'd have property taxes that weren't as high and we'd have services that were better for the city. Be able to solve some of the problems we have," said Schenectady City Council Member Carl Erikson.
"It's a complicated formula. There's a lot of money on the table here. So if people take different positions, some people have done what I would call overly simplistic analysis and believe that they're taking an overly optimistic scenario. In some cases, that just doesn't apply here. The deal that's on the table is a fair deal for both the city and the county,” Mayor Gary McCarthy said.
The agenda of Monday night's meeting shifted from the original topic of Mayor McCarthy's proposed layoffs to the sales tax deal with the county. That proposal did not pass.