Ulster County officials blast Assemblyman Cahill for sales tax "extortion"
KINGSTON – Ulster County officials Thursday afternoon blasted state Assemblyman Kevin Cahill (D-Kingston) for, in their words, blocking the sales tax extension.
Every two years, Albany lawmakers routinely approve county requests to maintain the current level of the local sales tax rate, in order to offset budget shortfalls.
Local sales tax is paid for by local residents and visitors and is used to off-set the property tax.
Auerbach, at the podium, states the county's position to continue the sales tax at its current level
County Executive Michael Hein was joined by Comptroller Elliott Auerbach, Kingston Mayor Shayne Gallo, town supervisors and county legislators from both sides of the aisle to urge Cahill's reconsideration. Cahill's staff members who were present as observers at the news conference, had no comment.
County Legislature Majority leader Kenneth Ronk called the roadblock "extortion," echoed by Hein's characterization of the matter as a "holding the county hostage." A total of $22 million in cuts to essential services will result if Cahill has his way, they said.
As a senior member of the state Assembly, Cahill reserves the right to keep specific bills from reaching the floor. Ulster is the only county in New York State being denied a sales tax extension this year, Hein noted.
Local officials also urged constituents to pressure Cahill to change his mind, before the deadline passes.
The People's Watchdog.
The mission of the Ulster County Comptroller’s Office is to serve as an independent agency of the people and to protect the public interest by monitoring County government and to assess and report on the degree to which its operation is economical, efficient and its financial condition sound.