The Aug. 2 Gazette article regarding sales tax revenues demonstrates that it’s time for another reminder about sales tax in Schenectady County. It was reported that the county sales tax receipts are down 1.83 percent for the first six months of the year, but still up a net of just over 6 percent when one considers the 8 percent increase for last year.
That increase is twice the rate of inflation for the period. The increased sales tax revenue is on top of the casino money and the host-community-benefit money the county government receives. So again, I pose the question to the county “spokesperson” Joe McQueen, legislative Chairman Tony Jasenski and the Democratic Party-controlled county Legislature: Where does all the money go? We know one place it doesn’t go and that’s back to the municipalities and ultimately the residents to lower our real property tax bills.
Oh, they’ll argue that it goes to increased services. A closer and more detailed look reveals that the money actually funds an ever-expanding bureaucracy in the county government as means to maintain control of the Democrats’ power base. In the meantime, we residents keep paying higher property taxes.
I urge the residents to consider this as we’re about to see the off-election year county budget unfold. And if it holds true to form, the increase in spending will outpace inflation for the year when there’s no election.