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SUPERVISORS ADD EXTRA 1% TO SALES TAX

Wyoming County supervisors Tuesday approved adding an extra percentage point to the sales tax, until November 2003.

State law allows the move to be approved by county governing boards for two years. Wyoming County's sales tax now is at 8 percent, with half the sales tax proceeds going to the state and half to Wyoming County.

Supervisors approved the extra 1 percent by a 14-0 vote, with Eagle Supervisor Joseph Kushner and Pike Supervisor Larry Rogers absent from the meeting.

Supporters of the extra percentage point argue that the move eases the tax burden on county residents by charging others who visit the county.

"It is a necessity," said Joe Gozelski, Castile supervisor. "This way we get (revenues) from everyone, even the vacationers."

Paul Agan, Attica supervisor, estimated that the county generates about $12 million annually from the 4 percent the county receives. He said the county would have to raise property taxes by 75 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation if supervisors did not approve the extra percentage point.

Agan called the sales tax boost fair.

"Do you want the users to pay 1 percent or inflict pain and suffering on the property owners?" Agan said.

A similar measure was approved by the Genesee County Legislature last week. The only difference between the Genesee and Wyoming plans is that Wyoming County does not share its sales tax proceeds with area town and village governments. Genesee shares sales tax revenue with local governments.

In other news, supervisors:

Approved creating a new full-time probation officer position. Agan said the position will cost the county about $40,000 and was needed after state law was changed to increase the age at which teens can be in the Persons in Need of Supervision (PINS) program from 15 to 17.

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