Added 1 percent sales tax approved to fund county jail

NORWICH – The additional 1 percent sales tax that’s been in place in Chenango County since 2002 to finance the county jail was extended another two years by county officials this week, but not without dispute over what the extension means to taxpayers and the local economy.

The Chenango County Board of Supervisors on Monday called for the extension through resolution, brining the total sales tax in Chenango County to 8 percent. State tax law permits the county to tack on the additional 1 percent tax to the sale of tangible property and certain services, and on occupancy of hotel rooms and other amusement charges.

Since 2002, county officials have used the additional 1 percent sales tax to finance operations at the Chenango County Correctional Facility in Norwich – an $8 million a year operation. The remaining 7 percent of the sales tax is divvied between state and local governments, with 4 percent going to New York State, 1.5 percent to Chenango County, and 1.5 percent to the local municipality.

Extending the sales tax, however, sparks concern for local taxpayers, some board members argued; and it’s time the county look at other alternatives.

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