Sales tax revenue up in Fulton County

JOHNSTOWN — Fulton County Treasurer Terry Blodgett on Wednesday reported overall sales tax revenue in the county for the third quarter of 2018 was up by over $200,000.

Blodgett wasn’t able to exactly pinpoint the reason for the sales tax surge, but surmises it may be related to solar power sales and internet sales of goods in the county.

“We guess that may be it, so far,” Blodgett said.

Fulton County has had mostly good news to report with sales tax distribution the last couple years, and with the third quarter now complete, the positive trend continues.

According to Blodgett’s third quarter analysis, Fulton County’s total, overall sales tax increased by $209,512 with the important fourth quarter sales tax receipts from holidays looming. Figures for the cities of Gloversville and Johnstown were unavailable. The third quarter total sales tax was $5,739,797 or what Blodgett said was a 5.9 percent hike from $5,530,285 received a year ago for the 2017 third quarter.

Blodgett said the overall sales tax news for 2018 has been very good for Fulton County. It is up by $1.66 million from 2017.

“Right now, this time last year, we had $15,436,933,” he said. “Currently, we have $17.1 million.”

The total third quarter sales tax for just the county came in at about $3.88 million — $187,991 over a year ago when the figure was about $3.69 million.

Blodgett said Fulton County had boosts of $400,000 and $800,000 in areas that weren’t specifically detailed by the state. But one of the categories, he said, may relate to the “energy field,” specifically sales tax from solar energy projects in the county.

“Internet sales are also increasing,” Blodgett said.

The county treasurer said many retail outlets are closing, and Sears just filed bankruptcy. But Blodgett said what’s happening around the nation is more and more consumers are relying on internet sales. He said New York state is encouraging its counties to designate a person or method to capture internet sales tax receipts, but it can be a cumbersome task.

“It’s very hard to do,” Blodgett said.

Blodgett said the New York State Association of Counties indicated every county had positive returns for the third quarter with the average per county increase (including New York City), coming in at an increase of 7.3 percent.

The third quarter total sales tax increase for Fulton County’s towns and villages was up by a less modest $21,520. That figure represented an increase from about $1.84 million totally received in 2017 to about $1.86 million for 2018.

These town and village 2018 third quarter sales tax distribution figures were registered throughout the county: town of Bleecker — $72,739 (down $1,350); town of Broadalbin — $228,848 (up $12.62); village of Broadalbin — $45,494 (down $44.86); town of Caroga — $179,748 (down $7,092); town of Ephratah — $62.480 (up $2,869); town of Johnstown — $325,469 (up $8,857); town of Mayfield — $325,102 (up $3,390); village of Mayfield — $31,368 (up $349); town of Northampton — $214,367 (up $8,092); village of Northville — $63,116 (up $2,383); town of Oppenheim — $65,736 (down $2,672); village of Dolgeville (part in Fulton County) — $3,026 (down $190); town of Perth — $165,104 (up $15,868); town of Stratford — $75,118 (down $8,724).

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at [email protected]

By Patricia Older

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