Broome County Tax Increase?

By Gabe Osterhout

July 22, 2010 Updated Jan 12, 2006 at 6:07 PM EST

The county portion of the sales tax could increase from the current 4 percent, to 4.25 percent.

And the 3 percent hotel motel occupancy tax could rise as high as 5.5 percent.

But a local group of people say they won't stand for such an increase.

Nearly 80 people gathered at Post 80 in Binghamton for Tax Revolt '06.

It's an open forum to speak out against the proposed tax increases.

Bob Whitman puts on train shows locally.

He says if the proposed taxes are passed, he'll have to take his business elsewhere.

"I won't do business in Broome County no more. You gotta move out of New York State. I'll be gone. I won't do no more shows in Broome County, can't afford it," said Whitman.

Others understand the County needs to spend money.

But instead of raising taxes, they say it should work with businesses.

"You've got to make it enticing for businesses to stay in the community because as things get tough, they just drop along the way. The government's got to be business-friendly, which they're getting away from that," said Walt Fedourich of Fedo Sign Company.

Other business owners say we should look to the past to fix our financial problems of the present.

"Look at all the things, I think it was said by Anthony Brunelli, that had been proposed that have been very good ideas that have never been implemented. This is deja vu all over again," said retired businessman Jack Veail.

Others have a better idea.

"If they want to raise the money, take it out of their salary. Don't take it out of the everyday working man's pocket," said Whitman.

People at the rally plan to contact their local legislators and see where each stands on the tax issue.

The group hopes to convince the County that while raising taxes will help bring in revenue, it'll also drive businesses and consumers away.

The head of Tax Rally '06 says three county legislators have called him to say they won't support the tax increase.

Legislator Chris Kuzel assured everyone at tonight's rally that if the Legislature does discuss raising the sales tax at it's next meeting, he plans to hold the issue over.

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