I read with great interest the story in the Daily Sentinel on April 30 entitled “County Touts Surplus.”
Nice to hear about our “growing tax base, stable financial position, large reserves on an absolute basis, and affordable fixed costs.” Nice to have a fund balance of $37 million. But I find it odd that the issue of reducing our outrageous sales tax of 8.75% is never mentioned. All the counties around us have sales tax rates of 8%, and Saratoga County is even lower. If other counties can manage on 8%, why can’t Oneida County? The county has lots of gaming revenue coming in, about $19 million budgeted for this year.
The budget story also cites “weak resident wealth” and one can check the census data to determine that median household income is about $51, 300. Many households have a much lower income. There are plenty of low income people in our county. The sales tax is very regressive, hitting low income persons the hardest.
Our legislators should, in my opinion, be working to reduce our county sales tax down to 8% like the counties around us. Of course, this cannot be done overnight, but it needs to be done, perhaps 1/4% reduction at a time until we reach the 8% of our neighboring counties. Think about the extra 3 cents or so you pay in tax on every gallon of gasoline bought in our county. Maybe a couple hundred bucks extra when you purchase a new car. Just a couple of examples, a little extra tax, every purchase, every day, all the time. The tax that just keeps on giving to the county, and taking from us.
Congrats on your sound fiscal management. Nice work. Now, how about cutting our county residents a break on sales tax?
— John Killian, Camden