Fulton County extends sales-tax hike

JOHNSTOWN – The Fulton County Board of Supervisors recently extended the county’s existing 1 percent sales tax increase by two more years.

The board passed a resolution at the County Office Building extending the sales tax hike until 2015. The board previously approved a similar two-year county extension in 2011 and has done so every two years since the mid-2000s.

“Extension of the additional 1 percent county sales tax can provide a mechanism to reduce the county’s reliance on the property tax to fund government operations,” this year’s request stated.

Earlier this year, supervisors passed a resolution requesting special “home rule” legislation through the state Legislature authorizing the extension of the additional rate again. The same resolution also requested the cities of Gloversville and Johnstown be allowed to preempt the additional rate through Nov. 30, 2015.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed Fulton County’s latest special home rule legislation request for the sales tax extension on Aug. 19.

Fulton County’s home rule legislation notes the county in the 2000s first increased taxes on sales by an additional 1 percent.

County Administrative Officer Jon Stead noted before the meeting the county then increased sales tax from 7 to 8 percent. He said 4 percent of the sales tax currently goes to the state and the other 4 percent goes to Fulton County.

Legal matter

In another taxation matter, the board established a policy for county participation in the legal defense of real property tax assessments. The county will get involved in such court challenges under certain conditions. Those conditions include only if the legal challenge is made to an assessment for a tax parcel or combination of parcels with an aggregate full market value of $500,000.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at [email protected].

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