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As sales tax and revenue take a hit, county delays payments to towns and villages

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 June 2020 at 9:14 am

If county continues to face shortfall, funding to towns and villages may be cut

ALBION – The Orleans County Legislature is delaying sales tax sharing payments with local towns and villages, and warned the municipalities may not receive the full $1,366,671 share they have been getting each year since 2001.

The county’s sales tax revenue was down about $1 million in April and May compared to those months in 2019.

The county receives about $17 million in sales tax. Since 2001, it frozen the amount to towns and villages at $1,366,671.

The county in December approved the following sales tax apportionment for the villages and towns:

Villages – $375,620 total in 2020

Albion, $165,688; Holley, $45,051; Lyndonville, $15,243; and Medina, $149,638.

Towns – $991,051 total in 2020

Albion, $123,143; Barre, $64,536; Carlton, $95,418; Clarendon, $116,261; Gaines, $88,698; Kendall, $86,813; Murray, $113,915; Ridgeway, $130,143; Shelby, $105,811; and Yates, $66,312.

The county makes quarterly payments to the towns and villages. On April 1, the county treasurer cut a check for $405,053.13 to be shared among the 10 towns and four villages.

The July 1 payment is due soon, but the Legislature on Wednesday said the money will be delayed. The Legislature also advised the towns and villages they could see a reduction for the year. The county will see if the sales tax revenues rebound, and if other state and federal reimbursements are cut.

Jack Welch, the county’s chief administrative officer, said the county would see a $5 million revenue hit if the current shortfalls stay at their pace for the rest of the year.

Lynne Johnson, the Legislature chairwoman, said the impact of Covid-19 on the economy has the county far off its revenue projections for the year. The county has furloughed 34 employees, not filled 10 other positions and postponed some capital projects.

“This will make it most difficult budget process,” she said in a conference call with local officials. “Without state and federal support, I see a big budget gap.”

Johnson said the state and federal governments need to step up for the local municipalities with their unprecedented fiscal challenges.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo also has been pressing President Trump and Congressional leaders to approve a stimulus package for state and local governments.

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