To The Editor:
This years election season is fast upon us. Signs, including my own, are starting to spring up around the city of Ogdensburg. Ive tried to work my way around neighborhoods to chat with city residents about important issues. Obviously, the most critical issue right now facing this city and the north country is the states decision to end mental health services with the potential closure of the psych center, and the multitude of negative effects that go with this decision. I suspect not only I, but all candidates for council, support the task forces mission to get this decision reversed to retain the services as well as the jobs.
One issue less talked about in the news right now that some have asked is where I stand on the sales tax increase by the county, and what should the city do with the increase in revenue. First of all I take the position that no tax increase is good. It upsets me to see in the news at least one county legislator take the position that increasing the countys sales tax to 8 percent is some kind of great accomplishment. At best I choose to describe it as the lesser of two evils, as it will distribute the cost of county services and unfunded state mandates to more people, consumers, and provide relief for property owners, compared to the double-digit increase they are facing. This is especially important for the city where only about 27 percent of the property is on the tax rolls.
I question, however, actual savings for the property owner when compared to the increase in consumer costs. Thats where the second part of that question comes into play. As a fiscal conservative, I feel it is only right that the City Council should use these added funds to lower taxes for property owners. Last year we found ourselves dipping into areas we wished we didnt have to keep from increasing the tax rate into the double digits. We should use the projected increased revenues to lower taxes now, and bank for the future to try and keep from increasing and hopefully lower even more.
I cant get to every house, but I believe Ive been to every neighborhood, so if anyone would like to discuss an issue just give me a call at 393-4678 and we can make arrangements. Thanks for all of your support so far!