CANTON -- St. Lawrence County's administrator has proposed a budget that will lower the tax levy by 14.3 percent, according to a presentation held at the Monday night board meeting.
The proposal reduces the tax levy from $53,070,130 to $45,477,431.
Under the spending plan, property taxes will be reduced by $1.52 on every $1,000 dollars of assessed value.
The savings in property taxes will be largely offset by a 1 percent increase in sales tax, which is expected to generate around $11 million in new revenues.
The the new sales tax was approved recently by the St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators after state representatives passed home rule legislation, which allowed the county to raise its portion of the the sales tax from 3 to 4 percent. The state collects an additional 4 percent. In December the total sales tax will rise from 7 to 8 percent.
State legislators agreed to the measure following a promise from St. Lawrence County lawmakers to lower property taxes by 14.2 percent, the same amount it increased them in the 2013 budget. The proposal made by the county actually drops the property taxes by 15.3 percent, according to a presenation given by St. Lawrence County Administrator Karen St. Hilaire.
Sen. Patricia Ritchie credited the county for sticking to the agreement.
"The newly unveiled St. Lawrence County budget represents a step in the right direction when it comes to getting the county’s finances back on track and providing real relief to hardworking taxpayers.," Ritchie said in a released statement. "By presenting a plan that will immediately reduce property taxes, St. Lawrence County lawmakers are helping to alleviate the burden placed on homeowners."