Endicott Wants Split Sales Tax Revenue ASAP
9/24/2012 (Updated 10:58:12 PM)(Source: Kate Thornton)
The Village of Endicott wants Broome County Executive Debbie Preston to restore an equal sharing of sales tax revenue as soon as possible.
"Debbie, please, help us get this thing done quickly," said Village of Endicott Trustee and Deputy Mayor David Baker Monday afternoon.
Baker, along with Trustee Frank Flint held a conference to discuss Preston's decision in the proposed county budget to not immediately restore an equal and fair sharing of tax revenue.
"We can't wait for years, we got a problem we need to solve now," said Baker. The problem Baker refers to is closing a $1.8 million gap in Endicott's 2013 fiscal budget.
Endicott's financial challenges is largely due to the recent tax break to the owners of the Huron Campus.
According to Baker, taxes would have to increase by 20% to offset the $1.8 million gap. He said an increase that high is out of the question and impossible.
A combination of a tax hike and major cuts to services and positions are options the village board are considering.
According to an August report by Broome County Comptroller Alex McLaughlin, the Village of Endicott is losing more than $335,000 in revenue this year alone because the sales tax revenue is not a 50/50 split.
In Preston's proposed county budget, she said restoring a 50/50 split in sales tax revenue can't be done in one year.
Instead, the proposed budget includes a 10% increase in sales tax revenue to municipalities, for now.
According to a statement by the Broome County Deputy Executive Bijoy Datta, a plan is in place to complete the 50/50 restoration over the next several years.
Politicians, particularly Democrats, have been critical of Preston, saying she "flip-flopped" on her campaign promise.
"She made a decision," said County Executive Candidate Tarik Abdelazim. Abdelazim has criticized Preston for not implementing a 50/50 sales tax revenue split in her budget, which proposes a 0% tax increase. "It seems that decision was to protect her political ambitions."
"When we're promised something, we hope we are going to get the split," said Endicott Trustee Flint. "She said she was going to give us this and we'd like to have it."
Endicott trustees will call on Preston to introduce legislation in October to immediately restore the 50/50 split of sales tax revenue.
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