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October 24, 2019 - 5:08pm

Governor signs bill allowing City, County to enter into 40-year sales tax agreement

posted by Mike Pettinella in news, genesee county, city of batavia.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Wednesday signed into law Bill S4247 that allows Genesee County and the City of Batavia to enter into a sales tax allocation agreement not to exceed 40 years.

Genesee County Manager Jay Gsell said that justification for the bill focuses on the need for the county “to fund its new jail capital project and for long-term debt payments over the next 30 to 40 years to become sustainable.”

Sen. Michael R. Ranzenhofer and Assemblyman Steven Hawley supported this legislation in their respective bodies, and it arrived on the governor’s desk last Friday after being passed earlier in the year by both the Senate and Assembly.

As part of the process, bonds will be issued to fund construction with a term of up to 40 years. This means that both the County and City will have assurances that, for the duration of the bonds, they can count on a distinct sales tax revenue stream.

Historically, the state Comptroller’s Office does not approve contracts of this nature that are longer than 10 years in duration; normally, the length is five years. But lawmakers were able to remove the “duration” roadblock to get the bill passed into law.

A little more than a year ago, the City and Genesee County reached a deal giving Batavia 16 percent of the county’s 50 percent share of the 8 percent sales tax – with provisions for that amount to grow in future years by a maximum of 2 percent per year.

In future years, the City’s share will depend upon sales tax revenue growth, eventually being no less than 14 percent.

The City and County extended its agreement to the end of this year in anticipation of passage of the special legislation (S4247).

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