County executive once again pushing for a 1 percent sales tax hike

The county exec is looking to state lawmakers to approve a 1 percent sales tax hike.

The sales tax hike proposal went nowhere last year following a contentious fight with state legislators. This year, County Executive Andy Spano hopes things will go differently. In Spano's 2004 budget plan, the amount of the property tax increase hinges on whether the sales tax hike is approved.

According to Spano, increasing the sales tax by 1 percent would add an estimated $88 million in revenue allowing the county to keep the property tax hike to 2 percent. But if the sales tax hike is denied once again, residents could be looking at a double-digit property tax hike.

The county Legislature has just begun reviewing the budget, which in addition to tax hikes calls for the elimination of more than 200 county jobs.

Even with the cuts, the county executive says increasing taxes is necessary.

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