WGXC-90.7 FM

Greene finance committee calls for direct federal aid

May 20, 2020 1:45 pm
Sarah Trafton is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media the Greene County Legislature Finance Committee Mon., May 18, approved a resolution calling for Congress to provide all counties with direct unrestricted federal aid, distributed based on population. Lawmakers also asked that counties be able to use aid from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to supplement their revenue loss. The committee's action was prompted by a report released by the state Association of Counties in April that projected Greene County could lose at least $35.5 million in taxable sales and anywhere from $1.4 million to $4.4 million in sales tax revenue as a result of the pandemic shutdown. Legislator Mike Bullish, who represents Catskill, was the lone dissenting vote on the resolution. “We are going to put chains around our kids and grandkids to have to pay this back,” he said. “Federal money is just borrowed money.” Greene County Treasurer Peter Markou pronounced the county in great shape. “As of May 13, we have $70 million cash on hand,” he said. He acknowledged sales tax was down by 29.57 percent last month compared to the same time in 2019. “Sales tax took a big hit but it’s not anything we weren’t expecting,” Markou said. For the third consecutive month, the Finance Committee authorized Markou to cancel interest on delinquent taxes for the month of June. Lawmakers also asked about the status of the annual property auction. “A lot of counties are pushing the auction to 2021,” Markou said. “We may do that. I’m not canceling anything yet. I don’t think we’ll do it in September though.” Any arrangements to prepare for the auction are on hold though, Markou said, because the courts are closed. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.

Greene County Legislature Committee meetings, held Mon., May 18: (in order) Economic Development and Tourism, Government Operations, Finance and Public Work