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Yates sales tax revenue has been consistent ADVERTISEMENT

Yates sales tax revenue has been consistent

YATES COUNTY--Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Yates County Administrator Nonie Flynn informed the Yates County Legislature she is optimistic sales tax receipts this year will remain flat compared to 2019 during the Monday, Sept. 14 meeting. With a strong beginning to the year, combined with a lack of big-box stores and malls, Flynn said Yates was uniquely positioned compared to other counties.
"Other counties in New York have been hurt much more," Flynn said.
Flynn said she is hopeful the remaining four months of sales tax revenue will remain strong. Despite the good news regarding sales tax, Flynn added the state has informed her an additional 20 percent of federal funds administered by the state will be withheld from municipalities for the upcoming year.
Steve Griffin of the Finger Lakes Economic Development Center spoke before the board and said local businesses are desperate to find employees.
"We are seeing a real uptick in economic projects... There is still a huge need to find and recruit employees," Griffin said. "Some companies have as many as 40 openings and there are at least 300 plus for the county. We can build more corporate parks but we need to be able to figure out how to get people here to work. Businesses are healthy and trying to get healthier which is good but the bad part is that they are struggling to get employees to work for them."
Competition has been so stiff that wages and amenities have increased as retailers and manufacturers battle for employees. At issue Griffin said is the lack of housing, meaning it is difficult to bring in employees from outside the area, combined with the fact that unemployment benefits have been attractive during the pandemic.
"I don't know if that was the intention (of enhanced benefits) but it will certainly continue," Griffin said.
Director of Public Health Deborah Minor told the legislature Yates County currently has zero active cases of COVID. As it stands, 14 people are currently quarantining and roughly 60 people have cumulatively tested positive Minor said. When asked by the board as to whether students in Yates must test negative for COVID prior to attending school, Minor replied that was not a requirement.
"Currently the way the state guidance document is written is that if a child is sent home with symptoms that could be COVID they need to be tested with a negative result, have resolved symptoms and [have] a note they visited their doctor," Minor said. "It is currently not a requirement for children to be tested otherwise."
Minor was also asked how the department of health is dealing with out of state visitors coming to Yates. She responded saying a surprising number of people are calling in advance.
"We have gotten a lot of calls from people who plan on traveling to Yates [and are] asking what they should do," Minor commented.
As to other out of state visitors, Minor said neighbors and friends have been reporting people they know have recently traveled out of state and aren't quarantining.
"If someone calls us and says I know this person came back from this state and here is their contact information we will follow up," Minor said.

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