NORWICH – The Chenango County Board of Supervisors will vote next Monday on reauthorizing the collection of a 1 percent sales tax for another two-year period.
The additional tax was imposed in 2002 to afford the county’s $26 million public safety facility and jail that opened a year ago in the Town of Norwich. At the time, members of the Green Party protested the hike, saying an 8 percent sales tax might deter people from purchasing homes and discourage businesses from moving into the area.
More than $18.2 million has been collected thus far. The tax fund has specifically been used to service debt, to make budget commitments as well as to pay for operations and maintenance. The latter use was questioned by town supervisors from New Berlin, Preston, Pharsalia, McDonough and the City of Norwich prior to reauthorization two years ago. At that time, the county’s attorney verified that the language for operations and maintenance was included in the legislation.
Members of the Finance Committee last week directed the county’s attorney again to assure the full board that the original language of the dedicated tax resolution would enable it to be collected for a planned $3 million overhaul of the county’s 911 emergency communications system.
“I think the language is in there, but we need to confirm that,” said William E. Evans, county treasurer...