Friday, March 25, 2016

Allegany County sales tax revenue down

March 16, 2016
Committee Members Present: C. Crandall, K. LaForge, P. Curran, D. Healy, J. Hopkins (Absent: D. Fanton, D. Root)
Others Present: L. Ballengee, D. Decker, K. Graves, R. Hollis, J. Margeson, B. Riehle, T. Ross, R. Scott
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order at 11:06 a.m. by Budget Committee Chairman Curt Crandall.
Sales Tax Report
            County Treasurer Terri Ross distributed the Sales Tax Report reflecting receipts through March 16, 2016, totaling $3,235,862.20. Receipts for the current period indicate a decrease from one year ago for the same period.  Ms. Ross reported they are down about $329,000 from this time last year.  She noted gas prices are down.  She stated her only concern is that this is about where they were last year at this time, and they ended the year below the budget target.   Ms. Ross is concerned they may be below budget more than last year.  She wants them to be mindful of the sales tax number because $20 million is budgeted.
            Legislator Hopkins asked about a meeting Ms. Ross attended since the last Budget Committee meeting. Ms. Ross stated she was named to a subcommittee, and they will meet with the State. There are about four people on the subcommittee. This subcommittee will focus on reporting including what they get for information and adjustments. The subcommittee has not met yet.  She thinks they may meet in Syracuse at the Finance School in May. Ms. Ross stated Albany County had issues with seven dealerships and zip codes.  The dealerships owed Albany County and other counties suffered.  Chairman Crandall talked about a similar issue with the 911 cell phone revenues, and where they are credited.  Ms. Ross stated sales tax is collected on cell phones, and they are not sure if it goes by area code or zip code.
            Ms. Ross distributed the Sales Tax Receipts for Calendar Year 2015 for all of the New York State Counties.  Ms. Ross highlighted the column Cumulative 2015 CASH by highest receipt to lowest receipt.  On the back of the report, it shows the percent change.  About half of the counties had an increase, and half of the counties had a decrease. They range from 0.1 percent to 6.7 percent decrease. The report shows that Allegany County is not alone.
            Chairman Crandall asked if any counties receive a specific breakdown by municipality.   Ms. Ross stated the only ones that get a better breakdown are the cities that have their own tax and preempts. She believes cities have the option to preempt sales tax. Chairman Crandall commented the increase in Steuben County was because of a shift in sales tax collection.  The sales tax that was generated in the City of Hornell shifted to the County.