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County approves sales tax for towns and villages, with village share dropping

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 December 2018 at 8:56 am

File photo by Tom Rivers: An “open” flag is outside the Main Street Liquor and Wine Discount Store in downtown Albion. The local downtown business districts generate lots of sales tax for Orleans County.

ALBION – The Orleans County Legislature has approved the sales tax apportionment for towns and villages for 2019.

The county receives about $17 million in sales tax annually, and shares $1,366,671 with the four villages and 10 towns. They have been frozen at that level since 2001.

Once a decade that the town and village amounts are set based on local population. However, each year after that the share is modified based on the assessed values of towns with villages. If a town with a village grows its tax base faster than the rate in a village, that town will get more sales tax – by getting more of the village’s.

That is what has been happening almost every year since 2001. Most of the new development is just outside the village borders.

The villages saw their share take a hit by about $27,000 from 2013 to 2019, falling from $404,661 in 2013 to $377,019 for 2019.

In 2018 the four villages – Albion, Holley, Lyndonville and Medina – saw a boost of about $3,000 and collectively received $382,240. That was an unusual year with the villages collectively seeing an increase in sales tax.

That won’t continue in 2019. The villages are taking a hit again. They are down to $377,019, a $5,221 drop. Medina is absorbing most of the decline, with a $4,998 hit. The Village of Medina is in parts of Ridgeway and Shelby. The village’s loss in sales tax is the two towns’ gain. Ridgeway will get $1,404 more, while Shelby’s amount grows by $3,593.

Here is what the four villages will get in sales tax in 2019, compared to 2018 in parenthesis.

Villages – $377,019 ($382,240 in 2018)

Albion – $167,181 ($167,203 in 2018)

Holley – $45,751 ($45,878 in 2018)

Lyndonville – $15,275 ($15,349 in 2018)

Medina – $148,813 ($153,811 in 2018)

Here are the town shares for 2019:

Towns – $989,651 ($984,431 in 2018)

Albion – $122,414 ($122,468 in 2018)

Barre – $64,536 (no change because no village)

Carlton – $95,418 (no change because no village)

Clarendon – $116,261 (no change because no village)

Gaines – $87,933 ($87,858 in 2018)

Kendall – $86,813 (no change because no village)

Murray – $113,215 ($113,089 in 2018)

Ridgeway – $130,272 ($128,868 in 2018)

Shelby – $106,506 ($102,913 in 2018)

Yates – $66,279 ($66,206 in 2018)

The villages received more back in 2001, when the amount was frozen collectively to the 10 towns and four villages. The village share peaked at $211,669 for Albion in 2004 (down $44,488 to $167,181 in 2019). Medina dropped $24,779 from $173,592 in 2002 to $148,813 in 2019.

Holley hit a high of $62,549 in 2002 – 17 years later it’s down by $16,798 to $45,751. Lyndonville was at $18,592 in 2002 and has slid to $15,275 in 2019.

Sales tax has actually been growing at a healthy rate for the county in recent years.

Sales tax revenues jumped by $1 million for Orleans County in 2017, up 6.45 percent from $15,287,529 to $16,273,192. The county budgeted for a $610,000 increase in 2018, and next year is planning on additional growth of $560,000. The sales tax increases have helped the county pay for infrastructure projects and also stay under the state-imposed tax cap, which is usually about 2 percent a year.

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