Sales tax revenue down for Jefferson, up for Lewis

Sales tax revenue down for Jefferson, up for Lewis
Sales tax (Source: MGN)

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Jefferson County collected much less sales tax this July than in 2019, while Lewis County collected a little more.

In 2019, Jefferson County collected $3,454,218 for the month. This year, that fell to $2,924,203, a decrease of $530,015.

“The economic activity out there is not as robust, as we would have seen in the past,” said Scott Gray, chair of the Jefferson County Board of Legislators.

“Our tourism economy is not as strong as it has been in the past. So, we’ve got some challenges to overcome.”

In Lewis County, the news was somewhat better: sales tax collection went up $10,000 between July 2019 and July, 2020. Sales tax in July of 2019 was $1,006,000. This year: $1,016,000.

“Our COVID impact has been relatively small,” said Eric Virkler, Lewis County’s treasurer. “So, I think people have stayed consistent, somewhat consistent in their behavior.”

St. Lawrence County’s sales tax revenue reportedly also held relatively steady, when measured across the first six months of the year.

Why should you care about sales tax? Generally, it’s a measure of how well or poorly the economy is doing. Sales tax goes up if people have money to spend, down if they don’t.

Copyright 2020 WWNY. All rights reserved.