Clinton County’s sales tax revenue increased by more than 6.4 percent last year.
February 6, 2019
Between 2017 and 2018, the county’s revenue vaulted by $3,441,296, from $53.4 million to $56.9 million, according to a recent report from the state Comptroller’s Office.
North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas said the uptick signals a strong local economy.
“Higher sales tax revenues are not surprising, given our success in maintaining strong visitation and spending by our Canadian neighbors in 2018, unemployment as low as 3.4 percent in late 2018, and a first place ranking of Plattsburgh for economic strength among all micropolitan areas in New York state,” Douglas said.
“More people are working, more visitors are spending and homes are being bought and improved. All of these things generate more sales tax, and are supported by years of economic strategy and partnership among our economic development organizations and local leaders and by our visitors bureau which works so effectively in the Canadian market.”
The North Country region as a whole, which includes Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties, saw sales tax growth of more than 5.8 percent, from $248.1 million to $262.6 million.
Essex County saw the most growth last year: 10.3 percent, from $28.8 million to $31.8 million.
“Local sales tax collections grew at a faster pace in 2018 than in recent years, boosting local revenues,” state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said in a statement. “Despite the good news, a slowdown in collection growth in the fourth quarter shows that sales tax revenue can be unpredictable.
“Local officials should keep a watchful eye on consumer spending and this revenue source and be prepared to react accordingly.”
Clinton County Treasurer Kimberly Davis said that it’s difficult to predict, but 2019 could be similarly bright:
“We don’t have a magic eight ball to see what the projected revenue is going to be,” she said. “We have a feeling that the sales tax revenue will continue to be strong in 2019.”
In this year’s county budget, officials have planned for total revenue of $53.4 million, an increase of approximately $1 million over last year.