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Yates' sales tax revenue drops 1.8 percent, Schuyler's rises five percent

TRI-COUNTY AREA—The sales tax revenue for Yates County decreased 1.8 percent decrease in 2009, while Schuyler County had a five percent increase.
Both were still above the state, which had a 5.9 percent decrease in sales tax revenue, from 2008 to 2009. Steuben County experienced a 6.2 percent decrease during the same time. The numbers were released, Monday, Feb. 22, by Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
While Yates County had a decrease, there were only eight other counties that had less of a decrease, or saw an increase. In 2009, Yates had $8,986,022, compared to $9,153,974 in 2008.
“Considering the change in the economy, it’s not a significant decline,” said Sarah Purdy, Yates County Administrator. She said businesses like the wineries, and new businesses like Peebles, helped keep the decrease low. Purdy added that as long as people in the community do business locally, the Yates economy should stay healthy.
Schuyler County is one of four counties that did not see a decrease. The other three were Oneida County, .2 percent, Chautauqua County, 1.2 percent, and Seneca County, 9.8 percent. The total sales tax revenue for Schuyler County in 2009 was $8,752,018. In 2008 it was $8,335,355, a five percent increase.
Kelsey Jones, executive director of the Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development, attributed the increase to new stores and wineries in the area. He pointed out the Seneca Lake General Store and Pompous Ass Winery that both opened in 2009. He added that the Harbor Hotel has now been open a year as of July 2009. Jones explained the projects that were underway last year helped Schuyler be one of the few counties with an increase.
Jones added he spoke to a couple from Lansing once. He said they make it a point to come to Watkins Glen once a month to see a movie, even though they have options closer to home.
Steuben County had $39,081,268 in total sales tax revenue in 2009. In 2008, that amount was $41,665,821, a 6.2 percent decrease. Steuben County did not have the largest decrease. There were some counties that had a double digit drop. Westchester County experienced the largest decrease with 10.3 percent.

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