MAYVILLE - County Legislator David Wilder cares more about how money is spent than the ways in which it is collected.
The Silver Creek Democrat recently proposed naming a tax after a former legislator. The proposal would have renamed the 2 percent occupancy tax as the Joseph Trusso Jr. Lakes and Waterways Fund. The resolution was tabled by the legislature Wednesday, effectively killing it.
One of two taxes imposed on hotels, motels and inns, the 2 percent occupancy tax generates revenues which are used to fund lakes and waterways improvement projects. It was the benefit of the tax which Wilder sought to have named after Trusso, not so much the tax itself - though the two are really one and the same.
"I couldn't seem to break people's minds of the fact that I didn't look at it as a tax," Wilder said. "We weren't recognizing it as the 'Joe Trusso Tax,' but as a funding source. Everything that the county does, whether it's the County Home or whatever, all either comes from grants, from taxes or from fees. I tried to put the emphasis on the fact that this was a funding source, but there seemed to be a fair amount of opposition to it."
James Caflisch, R-French Creek, proposed tabling the resolution during the legislature's December meeting. His motion was seconded by Fred Croscut, R-Sherman, and passed in an 18 to 6 vote with Wilder, Chuck Cornell, D-Jamestown; Wally Huckno, D-West Ellicott; Vickye James, D-Jamestown; Stephen Keefe, D-Fredonia, and Bob Duff, R-Sheridan, opposed.
An outgoing legislator, Wilder said he has asked Democrats to reconsider his proposal in the new year. However, as he's not returning to the legislature himself in January, Wilder does not believe it will be brought up again or have enough support to pass.
"The contribution that Joe made to the citizens of this county is certainly worth of recognition," Wilder said. "Perhaps they will find something maybe more appropriate to Joe's years of service."