Oneida County still has one of the highest sales tax rates in the state at 8.75 percent. On Wednesday . . . David Gordon, D-New Hartford — wants to push to reduce it. . .
But Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, as well as the Board’s Democratic and Republican leaders and Gordon’s November election opponent all disagree. A 0.25 percentage point reduction would cut $7.6 million from the budget. . . .
. . . planned uses of the surplus include paying off some of the postponed pension costs, upping a fund for economic development and replenishing reserves . . .Well if not "at this time" then when?
Democratic Minority Leader Frank Tallarino of Rome said he doesn’t support reducing the sales tax at this time.
Picente said . . . .“Let’s see where we go in the next few years, as Marcy and a few other things come into line,” he said, referring to the nanotechnology center now under construction at SUNYIT.There is always some excuse. . . . If the nanotechnology center does go, then that will be come a convenient excuse to spend even more money: just another Griffiss "International" Airport money pit.
Let's get serious about "economic development." Mr. Picente and the leaders of both parties want to shift money out of your wallet into government sponsored economic development. Meanwhile, mom-and-pop businesses all around the region -- like the aquarium business mentioned in the OD article -- are dying, the high sales tax being an additional stress on small retailers, restaurateurs, and others.
It's time to start doing more with less. Make the climate right for private enterprise by taxing and spending less. We'll be better off in the long run.