Democrats 50/50 Partnership Pledge
10/4/2012 (Updated 7:48:52 PM)Two weeks ago Tarik Abdelazim, the Democrat challenging Debbie Preston in the County Executives race, spoke out against her proposed budget for 2013. Specifically, her failure to restore the 50-50 sales tax revenue split agreement between the county and its municipalities. Thursday Abdelazim was at it again.
It's an issue that Abdelazim wont let go by the wayside.
In Preston's budget address a few weeks ago, she mentioned she is working toward returning the 50-50 sales tax split, but for Abdelazim, that's not enough.
Abdelazim said, Its 5 years of the first 60 days in 2013. Those are the choices.
Thursday, Abdelazim and several other Democratic county legislative candidates put pen to paper on that promise. The Democrats pledged within 60 days of being elected they would re-institute the formula they say must be put back into place.
"We're saying when the times were good, we all shared. So now that the times are very tough, let's all share that burden. Let's challenge ourselves to get our own financial house in order without putting those pressures on any other layer of government," said Abdelazim.
Specifically, the towns and villages currently looking at nearly double-digit tax increases in their 2013 budgets. One of those towns is the Town of Union. In response, Republican leaders spoke out against Abdelazim, saying it isn't financially possible to do right away, and they trust Preston to return to the 50-50 split.
Tom Augostini stated, "We're not going to tell you that we're going to get it next year or tomorrow. We just have more confidence that its going to happen under Debbie Preston than really anybody else."
Augostini pointed out Thursday that Preston has already adjusted the formula a bit, giving local municipalities an additional 10-percent in the sales tax this year, and while he admits the county could have given them more instead of having a-budget with no tax increase, he says Preston is doing her best to help.
"We were told that the deal that's in place is going to be the deal that is in place until 2013, so you pretty much have to figure out what you're going to do through 2013 with what they dealt you a few years ago when they changed the formula," said Augostini. "And I give Debbie credit for saying here i'll give you 10-percent more."
Both candidates promise a return to the 50-50 split, but as towns and villages struggle, the question is which one will have the chance to implement his or her plan?
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