SLC Sales Tax Numbers Good News to Those in ChargePosted: Updated:
At last, some good news on government finances for St. Lawrence County. Sales tax collections are up for two straight quarters. That comes after years of decline and could help reduce pressure to raise other taxes.
Sales tax collections that go to the county and localities are up more than six percent so far this year. For the county, sales tax exceeds even property tax as a source of income. So every blip is noted.
“It's great news for us because it's actually showing an improvement for us and we may actually exceed our budget by a small amount or it could be a better amount depending on how things go the last two quarters,” Renee Cole, St. Lawrence County Treasurer said.
Towns, villages and the city of Ogdensburg also get a big chunk of sales tax collections. The localities will reap almost $700 more just for the first half of this year.
“The good news for us is also good news for them," Cole said. "They will be receiving more in their quarterly checks from the county.”
At stores and other service providers the picture is still mixed. Some think increased prices for some items may be behind the increase. But others like Scott Traynor, Parkway Chevrolet general sales manager, say it's definitely sales volume.
“Sales are up, we had a great month last month," Traynor said. "We had the best month since I've been here and I've been here for seven years.”
Despite its financial trials, St. Lawrence County has set a goal of staying under the state-imposed tax cap. Treasurer Cole said the increased sales tax collections could help with that. But she also cautions its too early to declare victory just yet.