Salina reviews changes in sales tax sharing

County legislator Rapp addresses Town Board

If there hasn't been enough county sales tax discussion in the air, the Salina Town Board would see to it. The Town Board sorted through the newly adopted Onondaga County sales tax agreement during its regular meeting Monday night May 10.

County Legislator Kathleen Rapp appeared before the board and gave all who were present an insight into recent changes made in the way the county government will operate.

"This whole system of government we have is completely unsustainable," said Rapp. "There was no way we could continue to do things the way we had done them before."

According to Rapp, who was reporting to the Salina Town Board on behalf of the county legislature, a long series of meetings were held between county, city, and village officials to make necessary adjustments to tax assessment and distribution.

Rapp also said the county estimates it will take in roughly $280 million in sales tax in 2010.

During her presentation, Rapp also mentioned a different set of difficulties she faced the last time the county adjusted its sales tax methods.

{Q}"Back then, the biggest problem was figuring out what to do with the surplus," Rapp said.{Q}

"Nice problem to have," mumbled Salina Supervisor Mark Nicotra into his microphone.

Colleen Gunnip, Salina town councilor, asked Rapp a series of questions, including whether or not everyone in the county would end up paying roughly the same tax rate.

Rapp responded that it would be balanced, and left the board with a positive message about the interactions between officials of different political parties and backgrounds.

"I'm happy to report that this whole mess, it's one of the few cases where government actually worked," she said. "It's not perfect, but it sure is a lot better than we thought."

Also during the meeting, the board considered authorizing the supervisor to sign an agreement to pave and resurface a basketball court at Primrose Park. The operation will cost the town $6,300, that was already budgeted for this year. The motion passed with ease.

Earlier in the meeting, the board approved the installation of streetlights at the intersection of Le Moyne Avenue from Brewerton Road to Boulevard Street.

"We had a request from businesses and neighbors in the area," said Board Member Christopher Benz. "We'd like to alleviate any potential problems down the road."

The next Salina Town Board meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday May 24.

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