KINGSTON – The clock is ticking, but Ulster County Executive Michael Hein said there is still time for the State Assembly to approve continuation of one percent of the county sales tax, which is set to expire near the end of the year.
Hein, who has dubbed the situation the “Cahill crisis” because State Assemblyman Kevin Cahill (D, Kingston) blocked the approval before lawmakers went home this summer, said as a result of the potential loss of $5 million at the end of the year, he is preparing for all financial contingencies as he works up the county’s 2014 budget.
“We have overcome many of the challenges – the worst national economic crisis since the Great Depression hit us, we have overcome many of the financial crises that the state has hit us with; in many ways Ulster County has become a model county from a fiscal perspective and from so many more,” Hein said. “I don’t believe we have to chose between being fiscally responsible and being socially responsible if you embrace innovation and change and clearly we have done that in Ulster County.”
Hein noted the opposition to fellow Democrat Cahill’s block of the sales tax is almost universal among local officials.
Cahill, meanwhile, refused to comment on the sales tax issue when asked about it at this past weekend’s Hooley in Kingston.