Press-Republican

Business

August 13, 2013

Clinton County sales tax still well ahead of pace

PLATTSBURGH — Sales-tax revenue for Clinton County dropped a bit in July but continues to be well ahead of pace.

“I think all the rain we had certainly had something to do with the numbers being a little lower, but we are still ahead,” County Treasurer Joseph Giroux told legislators at the recent Finance Committee meeting.

The county remains $2,227,139 ahead of projections for the year. It was up $2,824,602 at the end of June.

Last year at this time, the county had about $1.6 million more than predicted.

SOGGY MONTH

While numbers this July were still considered good, they could have been better, legislators said.

Heavy rains in the early part of the month, including a deluge on the Fourth of July holiday, may have kept people away from stores, restaurants and hotel stays, according to Finance Committee Chairwoman Sara Rowden (D-Area 4, Town of Plattburgh).

“I know the Canadians did not come down as much when it was raining,” she said, adding that several local hotel managers told her at a recent Strategic Tourism Committee meeting that numbers were down in July because of the rain.

“If people are thinking of traveling here from not that far away and they see a bad forecast, they might not come,” she said.

“It affects their travel plans.”

CONSERVATIVE COUNT

The county has budgeted $34,165,001 in sales-tax revenue for this year. Last year, the total was about $33.4 million, around $1 million over projections.

The county has realized great success in sales-tax revenue the past decade, failing to meet projections only in 2009 as the recession deepened.

Rowden said the legislature watches sales-tax numbers closely.

“You have to be a little conservative because you are not always sure there is going to be a windfall, but we like what we’ve seen so far,” she said.

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