Saugerties Town Council members unanimously passed a Memorializing Resolution at their March 2 meeting to add their support to the growing roster of municipalities who stand with the City of Kingston in a call to County Executive Michael Hein to extend the 2011 Sales Tax Sharing Agreement between the County of Ulster and the City of Kingston for an additional five year term.
During a brief discussion prior to the vote, Councilman William Shirmer noted the previous Sales Tax Sharing Agreement expired on February 29. “The County wants to reduce the share to the City of Kingston and possibly other municipalities. We ask that they reconsider and extend the present agreement for five more years. To do otherwise would create tremendous hardship for our Town and other municipalities,” he said.
Supervisor Greg Helsmoortel agreed, calling the proposal “devastating. Budgets are already set and this was presented to us with no discussion ahead of time.”
The Town of Saugerties has currently projected a sales tax distribution of approximately $270,000 for the fiscal year 2016 based upon the 2011 Sales Tax Sharing Agreement. Ulster County’s proposal to cut the portion of the net sales tax revenue to be allocated to the towns from 3% to 2% would have a severe impact on the Town of Saugerties’ finances and could potentially result in the elimination of public services currently provided by the Town.
The Memorializing Resolution calls upon Ulster County Legislators to support the extension of the 2011 Sales Tax Sharing Agreement for another five-year period, in an unmodified form. A certified copy of the resolution was forwarded to each member of the Ulster County Legislature, Ulster County Executive Hein and Mayor Steve Noble of the City of Kingston.