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Wayne Post
  • Sales tax collections rise in Ontario County

  • Sales tax is second only to property taxes as a revenue source for Ontario County.

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  • After sales tax revenue collected by Ontario County increased more than 5 percent in 2012 compared to the previous year, collections in the first quarter of 2013 have shown a similar movement upward.
    Ontario County’s portion of sales tax collected in the first quarter of 2013 was $9,919,645, up 3.43 percent from the first quarter of 2012, said Catherine Bentzoni, county director of finance.
    Total sales tax collections in Ontario County — for towns, villages, cities and the county — increased about 2.71 percent in the first quarter of 2013 compared to the same quarter in 2012, said Bentzoni. According to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, counties in New York reported, on average, an increase of 3.29 percent in total sales tax collections. Wayne County had an increase of 2.3 percent, while Monroe County had a decrease of 1.79 percent.
    “Any indication that economic growth is improving is a welcome sign to the county,” said Ontario County Administrator John Garvey. “Obviously, improved numbers help as the county budget is developed, and we hope the trend continues.”
    Sales tax is the second largest revenue source for the county behind property taxes, Bentzoni said. In the county’s 2013 budget, property taxes make up 24 percent of total revenue, followed by sales tax at 18 percent and state aid at 11 percent, she said.
    Dorothy Huber, East Bloomfield supervisor and chair of the county’s Financial Management Committee, said the county has already begun working on its 2014 budget. She said increased sales tax revenue could help offset the costs of state- and federally-mandated programs, which include jail and correctional health care and pre-school special education.
    “Anytime any revenue goes up, it is beneficial for the county,” Huber said. “Certainly, it’s to our benefit and the benefit of taxpayers. ... Mandates from the state and federal government have been such a burden that anytime we get revenue that we hadn’t planned on, it helps us alleviate that burden somewhat.”
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