County sales tax reduction and reform not as difficult as it seems

Published Jan 7, 2017 at 4:00pm

The Oneida County sales tax should be reduced to 8 percent in an effort to create a more business friendly community. The reduction would not only invite people to shop in Oneida County but would give greater incentive for residents to shop here rather than in bordering counties which have lower rates like Herkimer or Onondaga.

The distribution of the then 4 percent local sales tax should be equally distributed 50/50 with the municipality whose boundary ​the sale falls in. In a town like New Hartford, the residents know well that retail sales come at a cost, whether it be the increased cost of police patrol, infrastructure repairs, DPW man power or even an unforeseen issue like storm water runoff from the effects of urban sprawl.

The argument about increased annual costs to the county is relevant; however the current administration has chastised small communities for their lack of consolidation while the county budget has become bloated and has yet to address its own ability to consolidate. 

Utica, for example receives no road patrol from the county Sheriff’s Department or DPW services yet the taxpayers of Utica pay their unfair share. The concept of a true Charge-Back program in which towns, villages and cities get a break on paying for services they do not receive would be a big step in the right direction; aiding in true consolidation efforts while reducing the cost of duplication in services.

Despite what the politicians want us to believe, tax increases are not inevitable. They are a choice; a choice between finding new innovative ways to succeed with less or ultimately failing from collecting more from fewer and fewer residents.

— David J. Gordon, 

7 Bonnie Brae, Utica