MAYVILLE – Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards made his pitch for increasing the county sales tax rate on Monday during the legislature’s Administrative Services Committee meeting. Edwards said an increase from 7.25 percent to 8.5 percent is crucial in order to avoid raising property taxes.
According to the Post-Journal, Edwards noted that raising the sales tax is a three-step process: the County Legislature must approve the increase, the state Legislature then needs to approve the hike and the County Legislature must then approve the legislation a second time.
Minority Leader Lori Cornell, D-Jamestown, said she could not support any resolution that increases taxes for county taxpayers. The Jamestown Democrat also asked Edwards whether he had talked to either of the county’s representatives in Albany, who would need to support an increase in the sales tax for it to move forward. Senator Cathy Young has already come out and said getting full senate support for the increase is unlikely.
The resolution did pass committee, with republicans Bob Scudder, Mark Tarbrake, and Larry Barmore voting to approve and democrats Cornell and Paula DeJoy voting against.