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Greene County lawmakers call for changes in how sales tax revenue is 'shared'

Mar 13, 2022 1:00 am

Ted Remsnyder is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media the Greene County Legislature has joined with the New York State Association of Counties to petition Gov. Kathy Hochul and state lawmakers to end the practice of sending county sales tax revenue to Albany to fund state programs. As part of her 2022-23 budget proposal, Hochul has called for eliminating the practice to support Aid and Incentives to Municipalities. “Local tax revenue should stay in the community where it is collected,” Greene County Legislature Vice Chairman Matthew Luvera said in a statement. “This is money that is meant to support the residents of Greene County... We shouldn’t be required to use it to foot the bill for state and federal expenditures.” Greene County voters select representatives such as Chris Tague and Michelle Hinchey in Albany. In 2021, the state diverted $250 million a year in local sales taxes to finance a temporary state-controlled distressed health facilities fund in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Nobody disputes aid to municipalities and distressed health care facilities are incredibly important, especially during the pandemic,” NYSAC Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario said in a statement. “What local governments are saying is that these programs should be funded by the state and federal government who have more capacity to raise revenue and are not reliant on regressive taxes. ...” The counties are recommending the distressed hospital fund expire on March 31, that the legislature should support Hochul’s proposal to stop the diversion of county sales tax and return the responsibility to the state general fund through the regular AIM program. Read more at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.