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Yates, Schuyler sales tax revenue is up this year

    YATES, SCHUYLER COUNTIES—The year is more than half over, so counties have had the chance to see how much revenue the sales tax is bringing in so far this year.
    For both Yates and Schuyler, there has been an increase in the amount of funds coming from sales tax, comparing the first half of this year to the first half of last year.
    Bonnie Percy, Yates County Treasurer, said that the sales tax revenue is up eight percent, comparing the first six months of 2011 to the same time frame in 2010. She explained that for 2011, the county got $4,475,000 in the first half of the year. This is compared to $4,133,000 in 2010. Percy added that the number of receipts from the state is also up this year, which is a good sign.
    Sales tax revenue for Schuyler County is trending up double-digits for the first six months of 2011.  However, a part of that gain is an adjustment to correct a prior year overpayment.
    Sales tax revenue in Schuyler County is up 32 percent, comparing the first six months of 2011 to the same time frame in 2010, or $840,820.  Schuyler County Administrator Tim O’Hearn said from January to June of this year, the county earned $3,424,298.  During the same period of 2010, Schuyler got $2,583,478 in sales tax revenue.
    O’Hearn said the increase is “artificially inflated” by a $330,000 adjustment from the first half of 2010.  He said that amount was included in the sales tax revenue paid to the county this year to correct an overpayment last year.
    O’Hearn added an increase was expected because of the reinstatement of the four percent clothing sales tax last October.  He explained the county estimates about $300,000 from the sales tax revenue throughout the entire year.  He said that the majority of that total will probably come from back to school and Christmas shopping.
    He also attributed the increase to several other factors: the Phish concert, and the Harbor Hotel holding more conferences this year.
    O’Hearn explained the majority of the tickets to the three-day Phish musical festival, which was held the July 4 weekend, would have been purchased during May and June.
    He added that the Harbor Hotel has been steadily increasing business over the years by holding more conferences.  O’Hearn said the hotel has increased business 30 percent over last year.  Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development Executive Director Kelsey Jones added Harbor Hotel is “more aggressive at getting conferences.”
    Jones said Schuyler may also be getting more business from gas drilling employees in the area.  He said Chemung County has experienced an increase in revenue due to the gas industry.
    The county will need extra funds since an audit of the 2010 budget revealed a $2.5 million deficit, which was presented to the legislature, Wednesday, Aug. 3.
    “This will go a large way to offset that,” said O’Hearn.




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