October 6, 2013

Clinton County sales tax still way up

PLATTSBURGH — Sales-tax revenue for Clinton County continues to rise as the final quarter of the year, traditionally the strongest quarter, kicks in.

“It’s great to see it continue to go up and it makes budgeting for us easier, but we still have to be very careful,” said Legislator Sara Rowden (D-Area 4, Town of Plattsburgh), who chairs the county’s Finance Committee.

County Treasurer Joseph Giroux told legislators at Wednesday’s Finance Committee meeting that sales-tax revenue for the county was up $3,167,157 from projections through September.

The $25,057,047 collected so far is also up about $1.3 million from last year at the same time.

Rowden said she believes the increase is attributed directly to Canadians visiting from Quebec.

“I think the big population center in Montreal being so close really helps us,” Rowden said.

“And we have a lot to offer.”

The Canadian dollar has been strong in recent years, but Rowden said she believes the marketing campaign conducted by the Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau is the main reason why more Canadians are visiting the area.

The Visitors Bureau is funded by the 3 percent occupancy tax that was implemented in 2007.  The tax is charged to the sale of every hotel and motel room in the county and is used to market the area, especially the many fishing tournaments held on Lake Champlain each year.

“That committee has done a great job of marketing this area to Canadians and we are seeing that it is now paying off in a big way with the sales tax,” she said.

Rowden also said that the local economy seems to have perked up a bit this year, which also helps the sales-tax numbers.

“We’ve seen companies like Nova Bus and Bombardier get new contracts and that helps, and reflects some changes in the economy,” she said.

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