JOHNSTOWN - Fulton County's third-quarter sales tax revenue was nearly stagnant, with virtually no growth, after hundreds of thousands of dollars of growth in the previous four quarters.
"We anticipated a larger third quarter because of the better weather," County Treasurer Terry Blodgett said today. "We had a super summer."
Blodgett released a third-quarter sales tax distribution report that showed the county only had a minuscule $4,840 increase in sales tax over the roughly $4.63 million received for the third quarter of 2011.
Fulton County registered these sales tax increases in previous four quarters: second quarter 2012 - $425,060; first quarter 2012 - $152,418; fourth quarter 2011 - $276,000; and third quarter 2011 -$201,000.
"The economy is still affecting the people," Blodgett said. He said many people still don't have the disposable income to make sizable purchases.
The third-quarter sales tax report included a $102,128 decrease for the city of Johnstown. That city's sales tax dipped sharply - from $894,656 received in the third quarter of 2011 to $792,528 for the quarter just ended.
Sales tax revenues in the third quarter, for a sampling of Fulton County municipalities:
Johnstown (city): $792,528, down by $102,128 over the third quarter of 2011.
Gloversville: $565,362, down by $8,817.
Johnstown (town): $263,355, down by $6,204.
Broadalbin (town): $202,538, up by $11,360.
Broadalbin (village): $40,530, up by $2,232.
Mayfield (town): $287,884, up by $11,452.
Mayfield (village): $27,822, up by $1,408.
Northampton: $195,224, up by $7,521.
Northville: $58,889, up by $2,187.
Oppenheim: $62,998, up by $2,958.
Perth: $138,461, up by $3,820.
A less dramatic $8,817 decrease was reported for Gloversville, which saw its third-quarter sales tax go from $574,179 to $565,382 from a year ago.
Gloversville Finance Commissioner Bruce Van Genderen said today that although sales tax was down, the bigger picture looks better.
"Overall, for the year, my projection is we'll meet our [sales tax] budget of $2.25 million for 2012," he said.
The county treasurer recently told the Board of Supervisors' Finance Committee that Fulton County's sales tax is very hard to estimate these days.
"It's another flip of the coin," Blodgett told the committee. "Unemployment is still horrendous, houses aren't selling. You don't see a lot of [positive] indicators right now."
Third-quarter sales tax revenue kept by county government decreased by $53,016 from $3.05 million received for the third quarter of 2011.
Despite that decrease, Blodgett said the county budgeted $11.2 million for its own sales for 2012 and is now $400,000 ahead of that pace. He said he predicts an "average fourth quarter," which includes holiday sales.
"We're going to be about on budget right now," he said.
He said the county budgeted $11.4 million for its own sales tax for 2013 - anticipating $200,000 more next year.
Sales tax for the county's villages and towns was up $57,956. Those municipalities received sales tax totaling $1.58 million for the third quarter of 2011 compared to $1.64 million for the third quarter of 2012.
The only decrease in sales tax among the towns and villages was for the town of Johnstown, which saw a $6,204 decrease from the third quarter of 2012.
Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.