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Archive for March 22nd, 2009

fair share

The sales tax distribution agreement between the City of Amsterdam and the County of Montgomery, NY is set to expire on June 30, 2009.

Sales tax revenue is a vital component of the City’s operating budget, amounting to $3.5 million distributed annually to the City. This is 27 percent of the revenue collected by the City from all sources. The sales tax agreement is therefore of crucial importance to the City of Amsterdam and all towns and villages in Montgomery County.

During the past year, there have been a number of discussions with City Supervisors regarding the terms of a successor agreement. All City Supervisors agreed that they would act to promote the best interests of their constituents, recognizing that the fate of the County is inextricably tied to that of the City. The proposed agreement provides for an increase in the amount of sales tax provided by the County to the City of approximately 14% or $500,000.00.

The amount paid to the towns will not be reduced.

This change corrects longstanding inequities in the distribution of sales tax and emphasizes the importance of the future of the City of Amsterdam to the entire County.

The condition of the City is critical to the financial health of the County. High taxes in the City have negatively impacted growth and investment regionally. This agreement will help to keep taxes lower, thus encouraging development. It will provide much-needed funds for the City to demolish substandard housing, repair failing infrastructure and promote economic development. As the City grows and prospers, financial burdens on County government will be reduced and, ultimately, the sales tax invested in the City will lead to growth in the region and a reduction of expenses.

The proposed sales tax agreement – together with a spirit of cooperation regarding economic development – will allow us all to prosper. This proposal is unanimously supported by the City’s Common Council. It is my hope that the County Board of Supervisors will support this agreement in the same spirit. Clearly, as the City goes, so goes the County.

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a must

A new online friend, Darryle Pollack, has this posted. Please don’t miss it. Absolutely awesome; wish I had been there.

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