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End to home-rule request sought; Measure involves extra sales tax

The Genesee County Legislature on Wednesday gave its support to a proposed state law that would eliminate the need for the county to seek home-rule legislation every other year so it can continue the extra one percentage point in its sales tax.

The proposed legislation, pending in both the Assembly and State Senate, would end the requirement of state approval for biennial renewal of local sales tax rate changes that do not exceed 4 percent.

Genesee has for years added one point to its sales tax -- bringing the local total to 4 percent. That raises $8 million a year.

The county's 50 percent share is for capital projects and debt reduction. The other half is divided among the City of Batavia, towns and villages.

Last year, when the home-rule renewal was due, the Legislature applied early because of concerns the request might be turned down as the state toyed with no tax increases. However, the request was granted.

Unless the pending legislation passes, Genesee would have to apply again next year.

In other action the Legislature:

*Hired retired Assistant County Manager Frank V. Ciacia on a part-time basis to oversee facilities management and the STOP-DWI program that he headed during his 20 years with the county. He retired last month and will teach government administration courses at Buffalo State College. He will be paid $34 per hour until a replacement is named.

*Renewed a contract with Phoenix Graphics of Rochester to print supplies for this year's primary and general elections at a cost of $16,644.

*Renewed a pact with U.S. Bankruptcy Court to use space in the Old Genesee County Courthouse at a cost of $850 per month.

*Authorized an auction to dispose of 230 items from a child day care center, a service at the county nursing home that was discontinued earlier this year.