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County leaders withdraw sales tax hike plan

Most of the support for the sales tax increase over boosted property taxes came from upcounty supervisors, whose constituents would be facing disproportionately high county property tax increases.

In Johnsburg, the 2010 county tax hike of 6.1 percent would translate to a 23.4 percent tax increase, where 20 percent of households are now under the poverty level, Johnsburg Supervisor Sterling Goodspeed said.

"This is going to be devastating, and people are going to lose their homes," he said. "We are turning away from an opportunity to control our taxes - We are making a terrible mistake."

Voting against rescinding the sales tax hike request were Goodspeed, Monroe, Bolton Supervisor Kathleen Simmes, Ralph Bentley of Horicon, Dan Belden of Hague, Red Pitkin of Thurman, Frank Thomas of Stony Creek, Gene Merlino of Lake Luzerne, and Glens Falls supervisors Daniel Girard and Joseph Sheehan.

Warrensburg Supervisor Kevin Geraghty voted for the measure. Lake George Supervisor Lou Tessier, who has supported the sales tax hike in the past, was not present at Friday's meeting due to the death of a relative.

An alternative initiative calling for an increase of 0.5 percent in the sales tax rate, supported by Thurman Supervisor Red Pitkin and many other supervisors, failed in a subsequent vote.

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