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Schuyler looks at strong start to the year ADVERTISEMENT

Schuyler looks at strong start to the year

SCHUYLER COUNTY--County Administrator Fonda Chronis was optimistic regarding the financial outlook of Schuyler County in his administrator's report to the county legislature during the Monday, April 11 meeting. Chronis said he is encouraged by the strength of local tax numbers but also by the recently passed state budget.
"The state has some money and they are definitely distributing it... it's almost all good news," Chronis said of the state budget.
Of the highlights of the state budget that will benefit Schuyler County, Chronis said the state will no longer divert portions of local sales tax revenue while calculating the cap as it relates to Medicaid.
"The state will pony up the money themselves for those state programs which should translate to $202,000 which we will call additional sales tax but really it is generated by us," Chronis added.
Chronis also reported the state has eased restrictions related to broadband internet installation.
"That will help us with our broadband projects going forward," Chronis said.
A new program called New York Forward has also been included in the budget, which Chronis said is being designed to pour $100,000,000 into smaller municipalities across the state.
"We will get details on it," Chronis explained. "I am sure it is in response to so many counties that have villages where there wasn't enough activity to warrant a DRI grant but this is specifically geared towards smaller communities."
The only negative in the budget Chronis highlighted was a provision that could cost the county additional pension costs.
For sales tax figures, Chronis reported the first draw on March 1 was up 33.45 percent compared to the same time period the previous year. That percentage constitutes an increase of $270,000, bringing the year-to-date increase to 25.5 percent or $537,000.
"So far this year's sales tax data has been very strong," Chronis said.
It was also announced that while the state is expected to announce soon a list of new precautions to take as COVID cases are on the rise again, Chronis said it would not be a mandate.
"These are strictly recommendations," Chronis added.

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