Sales tax share agreement slated for extension while new agreement finalized
City and county officials are largely in agreement on how sales tax should be distributed among the various local governments that have been part of a sharing agreement for nearly two decades, City Manager Jason Molino said last night.
The current agreement is about to expire and there are still details to be worked out, however, plus time is needed to draft new legal agreements before elected officials can approve a new plan, so the City Council is being asked to approve a temporary extension to the current agreement.
The County Legislature will also need to approve a temporary extension.
There is a working group of top managers with city and county working on the details, not only of the sales tax sharing agreement but also agreements dealing with water distribution and use of the city's wastewater treatment facility. The deals have previously been interconnected because of the mutual interest of all parties cooperating on these initiatives, Molino said.
"It is in everybody’s self-interest to have an agreed upon agreement in place for sales tax distribution," Molino said. "No one benefits from these agreements going away. There is a form and fashion they have to take with new terms and conditions, but it’s in everyone’s best interest to work out a distribution that is equal and fair to everyone."
Currently, there is an 8 percent sales tax in Genesee County. Of that, 4 percent is mandated by the state and so the money goes to the state. The county keeps 2 percent; of the remaining 2 percent, the city gets about 1/3 of it and the other 2/3 is divided among the county's town and village governments.
The city's share comes to about $6 million annually.
Work on a new agreement started in the fall. The temporary extension, once approved by both City and County, will keep it in place through December 2018.