by Rachel Hunter
The amount of county sales tax that is distributed to town and villages is up for renegotiation in 2019, according Village of Gouverneur Mayor Ron McDougall. And the Village of Gouverneur is not going to accept anything less than what is already coming to it.
Mayor McDougall reported to the Village of Gouverneur Board of Trustees at its Oct. 16 meeting that he learned from a county legislator (not District 5 County Legislator Henry Leader) at the recent mayors conference that the county sales tax would be up for renegotiation next year.
“I don’t mind talking about sales tax,” Mayor McDougall said. “One of the reasons it is green right now and the budget is so good is because sales tax went up 7 to 8 percent… I don’t see any county legislators currently talking about that, but that is reality. That is what happened. The village board here we supported that. But it is fact.
“And if you want to hear the facts, go talk to Dave Blevins or go over to Massena and talk to Frenchie at Ford and Chevrolet. They’ll tell you everything. It makes an awful difference, that one percent, when somebody buys a new vehicle with not much of a trade-in or no trade-in. It is a lot of money. We supported sales tax increase but that’s one of the reasons for that.
“I have talked with one state senator and I will talk to the other two from St. Lawrence County. We are not going deviate from the towns and the village. Now when I say deviate, if you want to give us more, yes, we will take more. We didn’t jump on to support that, have a resolution on that going to our state senators, and lobbying me personally to send more money to the county and less here.”
The St. Lawrence County Legislature don’t have the final say. Mayor McDougall said the New York State Governor, State Senators and Assembly Representatives will decide, and that the City of Ogdensburg will be a player in the decision-making process as well.
This conversation was held at the end of the legislators report that was given by Mayor McDougall at the absence of Legislator Leader from the village board meeting.
“Henry, you should have been here if you didn’t like the last part of that report,” Mayor McDougall said as the village board meeting continued.
Other topics during the county legislator report included the following:
The SLC Board of Legislators authorized Sheriff Kevin Wells to utilize the funding from the County Surplus Auction to purchase necessary equipment for the Sheriff’s Office.
The SLC Board of Legislators authorized the signing of a contract with the New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee for a 2019 Police Traffic Services grant that will provide funding to cover overtime costs related to increasing seat belt usage and reducing dangerous driving behaviors.
The SLC Board of Legislators also granted authorization to create and fill a temporary social welfare examiner position in the Department of Social Services, and to fill various other social welfare examiner positions.
The next meeting of the Village of Gouverneur Board of Trustees is to be held on Tuesday, November 20 at 7 p.m.