LITTLE VALLEY — Last year was a record year for Cattaraugus County’s sales tax receipts.
The $17.1 million in 2019 county sales tax receipts is an indication that the county’s economy is continuing to grow. It represents a 3.29% increase from the $16.6 million in the county’s 1 ½% sales tax receipts.
The 2019 county budget forecast $16.5 million in revenue from the 1 ½ percent sales tax. The county splits its local sales tax with the two cities and 32 towns, meaning Olean, Salamanca and the towns will split an identical $17.1 million.
Cattaraugus County enacted an additional 1% sales tax that it does not share with other municipalities. The 2019 budget predicted $10.4 million from the additional 1% sales tax that is dedicated to roads and bridges.
County officials expect to be analyzing the sales tax numbers in the coming weeks as more detailed information becomes available from the state Department of Taxation and Finance, according to Deputy County Treasurer Matthew Keller.
Lower gasoline prices in the first and fourth quarters should have translated to lower receipts, but the first quarter receipts of $3.9 million were up 1.96% over the same three months in 2018. Similarly, fourth quarter receipts of $4.4 million were up 6.76% over the same period in 2018.
Second quarter receipts of $4.2 million were up only 0.63% over the same period in 2018 and third quarter receipts of $4.5 million were up 3.77%.
Keller suspects the retail sector had a better than expected year. The figures may also include more internet sales the state had promised to remit to counties where the purchases originated.
“Within the next month we’ll get a report from New York State with a breakdown of where the sales tax transactions occurred by Zip Code,” Keller said.
The main sales tax generators are autos, fuel and consumers, Keller said.
(Contact reporter Rick Miller at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter, @RMillerOTH)