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Hudson Valley News
Fri August 2, 2013
Cahill Not Optimistic About Seeing Special Session
KINGSTON – As the clock keeps ticking, the likelihood of the governor calling a special session of the legislature diminishes and that means any hope of passing legislation to allow Ulster County to keep its sales tax at its current level fades.
Assemblyman Kevin Cahill said if it does not make it before lawmakers this fall, it will come up early next year. But, county officials say they need the one percent sales tax exemption ASAP or the county will lose about $5 million in revenue.
While the assemblyman acknowledges the chances of a vote in Albany this fall are slim, he sees a silver lining in the issue.
“The residence in this county, the shoppers in this county, will be able to buy things for a little less and the county may have to tighten its belt or find the revenue elsewhere if indeed the revenue goes down,” Cahill said. “The fact of the matter is there is a time now and the time we meet in January when negotiations can take place and steps can be taken to assure that the Safety Net is paid for and that there is a commitment in the future to pick up the elections costs. If that is clear then I am more than happy to sit down and come up with a means of getting this on the agenda as quickly as possible.”
The county legislature has voted to back County Executive Michael Hein’s three-year graduated plan to pay for the municipal costs of the Safety Net welfare program if the sales tax extension is approved.
Meanwhile, Deputy Ulster County Executive Kenneth Crannell said the “posturing must stop.” His s message to Cahill was to move the issue now.
“No more excuses, no more claiming to fix a program that had already been solved,” Crannell said. “It is time to act in the best interest of the residents of Ulster County. Assemblyman Cahill, fix what is now broken, and get the Assembly to reconvene in Albany and pass the necessary sales tax legislation as the Senate has already done.”