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Legislature urges sales tax extension ; Fears State Senate may block move

The Genesee County Legislature is taking no chances that the extra percentage point of its sales tax will be overlooked by the State Legislature amid budget problems facing Albany.

A resolution approved at Wednesday's first meeting of the year calls for the state to approve an extension of the extra sales tax, which began years ago and helps finance capital improvements and debt reduction.

The sales tax is 8 percent, with the revenue from the tax divided 50-50 between the state and local governments. Revenue from the local levy of 4 percent, which includes the extra percentage point, is shared among the city, the county and its six villages and 13 towns. The total annual revenue from the extra percentage point is nearly $8 million.

The fear is that with a new governor and the GOP-controlled State Senate promising no new taxes, there is a possibility that Genesee County would not receive approval for its extension, according to local officials.

The extra tax expires Nov. 30, and an extension must be sought every other year. The Legislature usually waits until fall to act on it.

The resolution asks Assemblymen Stephen M. Hawley, R-Batavia, and Daniel J. Burling, R-Warsaw, to support an early renewal of the extra tax.

The legislators also reappointed five members of the Empire Zone Administrative Board to three-year terms: Genesee Economic Development Center directors John F. Andrews and James W. Vincent, banker Diane Torcello, businessman Timothy G. Quinn and labor representative Connie Boyd.

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