To the Editor:
We can all agree that Northern New Yorkers are struggling during the current economic downturn, and with one of the highest unemployment rates in the state, the residents of St. Lawrence County are especially struggling to make ends meet.
Our county government has seen the impact of the economic downturn in decreased sales tax revenue last quarter, and an unprecedentedly low number of mortgages so far this year. The answer to these problems is not to raise taxes to fill the gaps; moreover, it is the responsibility of our Legislature to recognize these problems and reduce spending to alleviate the gaps.
I have always been opposed to the mortgage tax increase passed last year, and was disappointed in our Legislature for passing another resolution on Monday to encourage the state Legislature to enact home rule legislation in order to increase the tax hike.
In a time with fewer mortgages, our county should be encouraging individuals to buy a home in St. Lawrence County. The federal government is providing tax credits to help first time homebuyers, and our county government is raising taxes on them?
While a balanced budget is a necessity, raising taxes to pay for a budgetary shortfall is not the answer. As your legislator, I will work to reduce spending and improve inefficiencies in our county government. Because the residents of St. Lawrence County are already being overtaxed, and cannot afford to continue this never-ending story of tax increases!
Matthew J. Flynn II
Candidate for District 8 County Legislator
(Canton, Potsdam, Madrid)