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News stories tagged with "county-government"

The St. Lawrence County courthouse and legislative building.
The St. Lawrence County courthouse and legislative building.

St. Lawrence County District 9 electing legislator for 1 year

There's a special election for St. Lawrence County legislator in District 9 this year. District 9 includes downtown Canton and stretches south along Route 11 towards DeKalb. Current Representative Stephen Putman, a Democrat, had to resign in June in order to combine his state retirement money with the retirement money from his job. He was reappointed to the legislature a month later. Now there's an election for the final year of the term - and Putman is challenged by Republican Bill Fobare.  Go to full article
St. Lawrence County administrator Karen St. Hilaire Photo: Julie Grant
St. Lawrence County administrator Karen St. Hilaire Photo: Julie Grant

St. Lawrence County leaders want sales tax hike

St. Lawrence County Legislators adopted a plan this week to raise the sales tax from three to four percent over the next five years. County administrator Karen St. Hilaire recommended the move. She says a one-percent hike in the sales tax would mean the county could reduce property taxes.  Go to full article
Image: digital-topo-maps.com
Image: digital-topo-maps.com

Counties "govern by triage," seek mandate relief

The North Country is seeing some tough times in county government, with Essex County facing a $13 million shortfall, and St. Lawrence County projecting a 20 percent property tax increase.

New York State Association of Counties Executive Director Stephen Acquario says counties are caught between a rock and a hard place. On one hand, counties have to pay for dozens of mandated services, from Medicaid to child welfare, which cost more every year. On the other hand, they now have to keep tax increases within a property tax cap.

Acquario told David Sommerstein the situation leaves counties essentially "governing by triage".  Go to full article

Wall Street crisis looms over North Country governments, economy

The economic meltdown in New York City could have devastating repercussions here in the North Country. Across northern New York, local governments, including counties and school districts, are often the biggest employers. They provide crucial services from food stamps to education to health care. But much of the money that pays for those programs comes from taxes collected on Wall Street. Officials in Albany say the state revenue available to help local governments is drying up fast. Brian Mann spoke about the crisis yesterday with Stephen Acquario, head of the New York State Association of Counties.  Go to full article

Counties Renew Call for Medicaid Relief

County leaders, continuing their push to get state lawmakers to pass Medicaid relief, say they want to hear more answers from Governor Pataki when he gives his budget address in two weeks. Karen DeWitt reports.  Go to full article

Little Applauds Medicaid Relief

North Country State Senator Betty Little, a Republican, was pleased with the Governor's speech. Martha Foley reports.  Go to full article

Counties Survive Budget Crunch Until Next Year

This fall, county governments across the North Country faced what many called 'a perfect storm' of financial distress. Increased pension and health care costs and skyrocketing payments into New York's Medicaid system were sucking money out of county coffers. But budget cuts and property tax hikes weren't as bad as expected. As David Sommerstein reports, the real problem may be next year.  Go to full article

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