Sales tax going up by 1% as of Dec. 1

By PETE KLEIN

Express News Staff

LAKE PLEASANT – It’s official. The combined state and county sales tax will go from 7 to 8 percent starting Dec. 1: 4 percent for the county and 4 percent for the State of New York.

This became possible when the NYS Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo authorized the increase. Hamilton County’s sales tax has not changed since 1968, when it was boosted to 3 percent.

When the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors met Thursday, Sept. 5, Budget Officer John Frey commented, “If [the state] had fixed unfunded mandates as we and others have requested, this 1 percent increase would not be needed.”

Hamilton County was not alone in imposing a higher sales tax rate come Dec. 1.

Essex County authorized an increase from 3.75 to 4 percent. St. Lawrence County authorized an increase from 3 to 4 percent. Clinton County and Franklin County extended their 4 percent local sales tax.

FOR WILD FOREST

The board reiterated its support for classifying a majority of newly acquired state lands in the towns of Indian Lake, Long Lake, Newcomb, Minerva and North Hudson (the Upper Hudson Recreation Hub) as Wild Forest.

In addition, the board has called for the creation of an Intensive Use Corridor along existing woods roads, similar to that in the Moose River Plains Wild Forest, to allow roadside camping and entice use away from more environmentally sensitive areas.

An Intensive Use Corridor would also open up the opportunity for a groomed cross-country ski trail connection among the participating towns.

In conclusion, the resolution adopted by the board states, “The Hamilton County Board of Supervisors hereby goes on record, with the strongest level of support possible, for the Governor’s vision that these lands should provide recreational opportunities for all recreational users, as set forth in the plan offered by the Upper Hudson Recreation Hub.”

BALLOT PROPOSALS

The Board of Supervisors went on record to lend its support to efforts to assure the passage of three propositions slated for the November General Election, one of which is extremely important to residents and property owners in Raquette Lake.

A constitutional amendment would authorize a land swap between the State of New York and the Town of Long Lake that would clear the titles of about 200 landowners in Raquette Lake.

A second constitutional amendment would allow NYCO Minerals in Essex County to transfer 1,507 acres of land to the Adirondack Forest Preserve in exchange for up to 200 acres it would mine for wollastonite.

The third proposal would exclude indebtedness contracted for sewage facilities from municipalities’ constitutional debt limits.

OTHER BUSINESS

Barry Baker, the current director of the county’s Real Property Tax Services department, was reappointed to a six-year term commencing Oct. 1 at his present salary of $61,436 a year.

peteklein@hamiltoncountyexpress.com