The plan to drop Niagara County's sales tax on clothing before the state does highlights Tuesday's County Legislature agenda, but the idea of making the move effective Jan. 1 seems to have been dropped.
A resolution introduced by Legislator Richard C. Corica, D-Lockport, offers an effective date of Jan. 1, 1999. The state, which allowed two tax-free weeks this year and will have two more in 1998, will make the move permanent as of Dec. 1, 1999.
Two weeks ago, Corica announced he would push for a 1998 deletion of the county's 3 percent tax on clothing items under $100.
Corica said Assistant County Attorney Morton H. Abramowitz informed him that state law requires that municipalities be informed of any sales tax changes six months in advance of their budget processes. Villages and the City of North Tonawanda work on their budgets in the spring.
Corica, who says the county has enough surplus funds to withstand the lost revenue from dropping the sales tax of clothing, says he still holds out hope that an effective date sometime in 1998 might still be agreed upon.
"I wouldn't do anything until we sat down with the local communities," Corica said.
Meanwhile, the $2,071,757 technology plan, withdrawn from three previous agendas, is scheduled again. However, Corica said it will be discussed again at a Finance Committee meeting tonight to determine if it can at last be voted on. He said disputes over relocating the offices of several departments to accommodate the new computer network are holding up the plan.
The Central Data Processing Department wants to move from the basement of the Courthouse to the second floor of the Nelson Building across Hawley Street, a space currently occupied by the county's highway engineers.
Legislator Frank N. Conde, D-Niagara Falls, chairman of the Public Works Committee, said he agrees the engineers should be moved to the highway garage on South Niagara Street, but he'd rather move the Tourism Department to the Nelson Building and move the Data Processing office to Tourism's current spot in the former Civil Defense Building on Niagara Street, connected to the Courthouse by an underground tunnel.
"That would protect all their cables and give them room to grow," Conde said.
The Legislature is also expected to vote on making its third quarter dues payment of $110,700 to the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority. The Legislature refused to make the payment on time in July when it learned that the NFTA had fired the company operating the Niagara Falls International Airport without notice to the county.
At the time, a resolution was introduced to study a possible withdrawal from the NFTA, with the county starting its own bus service, but so far no action has occurred.