Will Legislative Session End Without Sales Tax Provisions Deal?
State lawmakers are down to just a few days before the end of this year's legislative session. But will they tack on a few extra days like they did with the state budget? Capital Tonight's Nick Reisman has more.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Local government representatives in Albany are increasingly concerned the legislative session could conclude this week without any agreement on extending sales tax provisions for county governments.
“If the legislators adjourn this Wednesday without approving the extension of sales tax collections there's only one thing local officials can do and that's increase property taxes,” said New York State Association of Counties Executive Director Stephen Acquario.
The tax extender measures are usually mundane legislative business. But this year the measures are caught up in the fight over extending mayoral control of New York City schools, which Democrats in the Assembly and Senate Republicans have not reached an agreement on.
“There's no sense of urgency I'm seeing in either chamber in the race to get this done,” Acquario said.
In part, Senate Republicans think the Assembly will blink, because the lack of sales tax measures for county governments will also impact Democrats in the Assembly who represent the suburbs and upstate counties.
“They can do all they want. We're going out of here on Wednesday. There are going to be Democrats in those districts that are going to have the same issues with the taxes as well as Republicans,” said Senator Martin Golden, R-Brooklyn.
But the Assembly won't take up any bills that also strengthen charter schools in New York. The Senate has passed three bills extending mayoral control, but linking the issue to expanding charter schools. Governor Andrew Cuomo raised the possibility on Friday of nothing getting done this week and having the Legislature return later in the year. Speaker Carl Heastie disagrees.
“We're not coming back. We've passed every single locality’s extender. There's no need for us to come back. We've done what the local counties have asked us to do,” said Heastie.
Meanwhile there is still the outstanding issue of procurement reform -- part of a push for better oversight of economic development spending. Senator Jeff Klein on Sunday introduced a bill that would create a chief procurement officer, but it wasn't immediately embraced at the Capitol.
“Procurement reform is under discussion both internally and externally. I have not seen Senator Klein's bill so I can't properly assess what's in there,” said Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan.
The final day of the session is scheduled for Wednesday.