To the Readers' Forum:
For the March Chautauqua Count Legislature session, there is a motion asking that the state Legislature raise the sales tax in our county.
Yes, the county needs to get more revenue to deal with the $14 million more it needs to meet its budget for 2013. However, why ask to raise the sales tax? We could, as an alternative, ask that the state completely pay for its Medicaid program instead of the county paying for it. We could ask that the income tax on the top 10 percent of wage earners be raised, and that money pay for Medicaid, thus freeing the money spent on Medicaid to be spent on roads and parks and maintaining other infrastructure. Or we could ask the state to close loopholes in corporate tax, so that companies headquartered in New York State, making over $2 billion in profit, yet only paying 0.9 percent in income tax (Loews, as according to Citizens for Tax Justice)would pay at least 30 percent on their profits - extra money that the company does not need to pay its bills or expand or buy equipmnet). Another company, Verizon, made $11,921 million dollars in profit and got a $42 million dollar tax refund.
We could ask for those changes instead of asking to raise the sales tax on people who struggle to feed their kids, who struggle to make car repairs, who need help buying school supplies. Have we asked them if they agree to have their sales tax raised?
Why go after those with the least amount of money instead of those with the most? It is because it is easier to pick on the poor.
I say, no raise in the sales tax.