Letter: Tedra Cobb Not a ‘Hyper-Partisan’ Candidate

The Stefanik campaign listed its “sources,” which makes fact-checking a straightforward matter.


Tedra Cobb has been attacked by the Stefanik campaign as “the out-of-touch, liberal, hyper-partisan, tax-and-spend candidate,” accused of having voted 21 times to raise taxes when a county legislator. The Stefanik campaign listed its “sources,” which makes fact-checking a straightforward matter.

1-4: During the four years in question, the property tax rate decreased by 2.72 percent.

5-7: The county legislature asked the state Legislature for authority to increase the sales tax if necessary to meet expenses in the future.

8: A resolution to tax nonprofits was circulated in committee. No vote was taken.

9: During the budget review process, the estimated revenue from the sales tax was increased, not the sales tax itself.

10: The Legislature supported the request of other counties to increase their sales tax.

11: The budget resolution stated the dollar amount of property taxes needed to balance the budget.

12-14: These resolutions decreased the “true value tax rate.” Tedra Cobb voted not to cut it further.

15-16: These resolutions asked the state Legislature for authority to enact a mortgage recording tax in the future.

17: This resolution increased fees for recording of documents in the County Clerk’s Office.

18: Tedra Cobb is accused of “taxing omitted land.” No doubt. These are lands that have been sold by tax-exempt owners and no longer qualify for tax-exempt status. The assessor is allowed by law to add these “omitted” properties to the tax rolls.

19: This resolution increased the tipping fees for contaminated soil by 50 cents per ton, not enough to cover the charge of bringing it to Jefferson County.

20: This resolution extended the hotel or motel tax to those“having less than six rental units. The bed tax is paid by the visitor, not the property owner.

21: The county legislature asked the state Legislature to make the Power Authority subject to property taxes, because the St. Lawrence Seaway flooded 18,000 acres, and the Power Authority holds 8,760 acres of land, including nearly 200 miles of shoreline.

These were not “hyper-partisan” issues. Seven items passed unanimously.

Unlike the U.S. Congress, the county legislature cannot spend more than it takes in. If any of its sources of revenue are diminished, it must find another way to raise revenue or else cut essential services. We would be well served in Congress by someone who understands these realities, having learned them firsthand.

Richard Hayes Phillips, Canton

From a Letter to the Editor originally published in the Watertown Daily Times, dated July 21, 2018.

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