Sales tax revenue is one of the things that indicates how well our local economy is doing. In Chemung County it’s down $1.5 million from last year.
This as several anchor retailers like Macy’s and Kmart are closing storefronts in favor of pushing online sales. Chemung County Executive Tom Santulli said there could be a few reasons why the numbers are down.
The first being inconsistencies in spending patterns, but the greater concern lies with online sales. Santulli said he’s not convinced the county is getting all the revenue it’s owed from online sales.
“The world of sales tax doesn’t really change volume, whether people buy it in stores or on the internet,” Santulli said. “The real question is how do we sustain these big retail developments that we have. And secondly, are we getting all the sales that we should off of internet sales? So we’re watching it with great caution.”
Santulli said the county has implemented a new hiring plan and a modified hiring freeze to prevent having to make any operational changes. He also said collecting monies from casino revenues should offset any deficit.