Better for the moment

By ANNEMARIE SCHUETZ
Posted 10/13/20

MONTICELLO, NY — The quarterly sales tax payment arrived. $5.6 million. “We’re not in the negative with sales tax,” county treasurer Nancy Buck told the management and budget …

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Better for the moment

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MONTICELLO, NY — The quarterly sales tax payment arrived. $5.6 million. “We’re not in the negative with sales tax,” county treasurer Nancy Buck told the management and budget committee on Thursday, October 8.

“When I gave the Town Hall talk, I had anticipated, at this time, we’d be in the hole a lot worse.” 

Instead, the county is up $300,000 over last year. “I’m really ecstatic.” They won’t hit the budgeted amount but sales tax won’t be the disaster everyone thought it would be.

After all, there were people everywhere this summer. Even if not all businesses were open, people stayed here and spent money where they could. Second home owners shopped online and sales tax was collected there too, Buck said in a recent interview.

That was the good news.

And the next sales tax payment will look even better because of the energy tax, which will be reported with the sales tax figures. And mortgage tax is up, she said.

Better news!

“Understand that it is good news, but we have a long way to go to be in the black,” she said. 

And then the bad news came. 

“We’re going to be down millions of dollars in sales tax in the end,” she said.

Room tax is also down. Three major new hotels (two at the casino and one at the waterpark) didn’t open. And although short-term rentals are doing really well, not all owners realize they’re supposed to be paying room tax, Buck said recently. 

Casino payments have been nonexistent because the casinos were closed. 

And then, debt payments are due. A bond payment for the jail comes up in November. Around $10.5 million in retirement payments due in February. $17 or $18 million to go to the schools in April. There’s money due in May—$19.5 million. 

“When this [crisis] is over we’re going to have another year or so to catch up,” Buck said.

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