2/17/2011 - Sales-tax Revenues down

From Press-Republican (http://pressrepublican.com/0100_news/x1788750485/Clinton-County-sales-tax-revenues-down

February 17, 2011
Clinton County sales-tax revenues down
County short of budget for second straight year
PLATTSBURGH — For the second year in a row, Clinton County has missed its mark in sales-tax revenue.
The county wound up $421,986 short of its budgeted $32.1 million for 2010.
"But we have had a much better start to this year, and hopefully, we've turned the corner," County Treasurer Joseph Giroux told legislators at the Finance Committee meeting.
The year got off to a bad start when projections for January 2010 fell short by $562,759.
Totals improved in the following months to the point where the county was actually $58,484 ahead of projections at the end of June.
But a poor second half of the year put the final totals in arrears. October and November were the worst months, as totals dropped to more than $1 million behind projections.
The final tally put totals 1.3 percent behind projections for the year. The county fell short by 3.8 percent in 2009.
As a result of the two down years, the county opted not to increase the sales-tax projections for 2011.
"We felt it was the responsible thing to keep projections the same," County Administrator Michael Zurlo said.
"We do see some positive signs so far this year, and the Canadian dollar is strong, which helps, but there are still a lot of people hurting in this economy."
County Legislator Keith Defayette (R-Area 5, Schuyler Falls) said he believes sales-tax figures will rise this year.
"A lot of that comes from fuel costs, and we know the cost of that keeps going up, so we're going to get more sales tax."
While sales-tax revenues were down, occupancy-tax income was up.
Clinton County collected $422,144 from the 3-percent tax on hotel and motel rooms in 2010. The figure was up from $404,850 in 2009.
Revenue from the occupancy tax goes toward marketing the area, especially for the many popular bass-fishing tournaments that take place on Lake Champlain each summer.

E-mail Joe LoTemplio at: jlotemplio@pressrepublican.com

E-mail Joe LoTemplio at: jlotemplio@pressrepublican.com




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