Elmira, N.Y. (WENY) - Chemung County Executive Tom Santulli announced on Tuesday that the county saw a 6.5% sales tax revenue increase in the first quarter of this year. That is in comparison to the first quarter of last year.
Santulli says that the increase has netted the county an additional $913,000.
Santulli says the county was up 3.5% in sales tax revenue at the end of last year, and paired with this recent growth, he says the economy is moving in the right direction. He says, "After last years increase and the first quarter of this year it certainly shows that we are on the right track, that the economy is improving, that the consumer confidence is better, and consumer spending is up."
While Chemung County will receive a large chunk of the sales tax money, the rest of the money will trickle down to the county's municipalities. He says, "About 70% of that is kept by the county by the sales tax formula and the rest is dispersed per capita based on population to the towns and villages and the city of Elmira, so its good news because this money, like it did at the end of last year, will help everybody."
Santulli says the sales tax revenue will also help property owners when it comes to the county tax rate, as the county looks to improve upon a 13 year streak. He says, "I'm sure this increased sales tax will allow us, as I do my last budget before I leave as county executive, our 2019 budget which we will release in November of 2018, it looks like we'll be able to do our 14th year of no tax increase."
Going forward for the rest of the year, Santulli is remaining cautious. He says, "One of the things I've learned about sales tax is you have to monitor it, it changes. Sometimes you can get overconfident and maybe the second half of the year is not as good so you have to be cautious."