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Schuyler has 21.8 percent sales tax increase

SCHUYLER COUNTY—The New York State Association of Counties has announced that many counties are seeing decreases in sales tax.  However, the first quarter from 2009 in Schuyler saw a 21.8 percent increase to last year’s fourth quarter.  It was even the second highest increase in the state.  The highest was 29.9 percent in Tioga County.
According to the NYSAC, the overall average for counties is a 6.3 percent decrease in sales tax.  In the surrounding area, few other counties saw sales tax increases.  For example, Steuben County had a 4.7 percent decrease, Chemung a 2.8 percent decrease and Yates a 4.6 percent increase.  The NYSAC said the latest numbers followed a fourth quarter where many counties saw a steep decline in sales tax revenues.
Schuyler County Administrator Tim O’Hearn said he attributed this increase to the county’s tourism and the Harbor Hotel.  He said tourism was probably responsible because the room tax has already brought in more revenue than last year in the first quarter.  The revenue collected from 41 out of 47 businesses is $11,981.  For the first quarter in 2008, the room tax brought in $7,566 from all of the businesses.
O’Hearn said from his “snapshot comparisons” of other counties, those with a tourism as a revenue source had increases.  Those counties with more retail based revenue had the decreases.  He added Schuyler County is already 10 percent ahead in the revenue they budgeted (which was three percent).


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