Once a Beneficary of Fracking, Chemung County Has Decline in Sales-Tax Revenue

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Sales-tax revenue for state and local governments grew 2.1 percent in 2012, a modest gain compared to 2011, state records show.

For the critical fourth quarter that included Christmas, sales-tax revenue grew just 1.4 percent in 2012 compared to 2011, data from the state Taxation and Finance department show.

Total sales-tax revenue for the state and municipalities increased $525 million in 2012, from $24.9 billion to $25.4 billion.

Some counties said the growth in sales-tax collections were below expectations. Chemung County Executive Thomas Santulli said the county will end 2012 about $3.3 million short of what they had budgeted.

The county’s sales-tax revenue fell 1.84 percent between 2012 and 2011, the worst drop off in the state and one of only four counties to have negative growth. The others were Essex, Schuyler and Schoharie – all small rural counties.

Chemung County, located on the Pennsylvania border, had for several years led the state in sales-tax growth because of natural-gas drilling across the border. Declining demand for natural gas and the closure last month of a Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. plant has hurt the county, Santulli said.

“What a difference a year and half makes,” Santulli said. “We went from leading the state in sales-tax growth and room-tax growth and we missed our sales-tax budget number by $3.3 million” this year.

Sales-tax revenue is the largest revenue source for counties, more than property-tax revenue. In New York, most counties charge an 8 percent sales tax. The state gets 4 percent and local governments get the rest.

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5 Comments

  1. How do these Einsteins constantly predict rising sales taxes in the face of a near (or real) depression?

  2. How short sighted the pro-frackers are. Just think, 10 years, and wow, jobs and gas gone. I guess they didn’t think they would live that long.

  3. Johnson Decontrol on

    Fracking is a small term gain of out of state workers swooping in on a town, driving up rents for local people who now get edged out of their apartments, a small term boom for bars, police work, and for the local courts due to DWI, bar fights, domestic violence issues, and other assorted assault issues, and a temporary business boost for stores selling boots, work clothes, tools, meals, and cigarettes.

    In a few years, 10 at the most, the gas is gone and the drill rigs leave in a cloud of truck dust and noise and all is trashed as far as water, livestock land, farm land, orchards, and any temporary economic benefit.

    So it goes in the lie filled fracking industry. The gas industry CEOs get richer, some scruffy out of state workers get a paycheck to paycheck existence, and the local environment gets trashed.