Fulton County gets boost of $750K

JOHNSTOWN — Excellent Fulton County sales tax news continued for the first quarter of the year, with a nearly $750,000 overall revenue boost from a year ago.

That figure resulted in Fulton County recording two consecutive sales tax quarters going back to late last year showing increases totalling nearly $1.3 million.

“It is great news,” county Treasurer Terry Blodgett said Wednesday. “That’s huge. I don’t think I can remember an increase that large. That’s a real [good] sign.”

According to figures provided this week by Blodgett, Fulton County’s overall sales tax receipts ballooned by $748,512 from about $4.67 million for the first quarter of 2017 to about $5.42 million for the first quarter of 2018.

“That’s a large sum of money,” the county treasurer said.

Blodgett said the federal tax cuts from late last year may have contributed to people having more money to spend.

“Something’s going on,” he said. “Motor fuel costs, gas and oil. Those are up. That, and the tax relief.”

On Dec. 22, President Donald Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. It cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, and cut income tax rates, doubling the standard deduction, and eliminating personal exemptions. The act keeps the seven income tax brackets but lowers tax rates. Employees began to see changes reflected in their withholding in their February paychecks.

Blodgett speculated that even if people are seeing a small increase in their disposable income from the tax cut, it may be translating to more sales tax revenue locally.

Fulton County’s first quarter of 2018 — with its nearly $750,000 hike in sales tax receipts – follows a fourth quarter of 2017 that resulted in sales tax revenue also being up nearly $550,000 from the previous year.

According to Blodgett’s analysis, total sales tax to the county government alone increased by $567,963 — from about $3.18 million for the first quarter of 2017 compared to $3.75 million received for the first quarter of 2018.

Blodgett said he doesn’t receive sales tax figures for the two cities.

The city of Gloversville’s first quarter figures were unavailable this week from Gloversville Finance Commissioner Tammie Weiterschan.

Johnstown City Treasurer Michael Gifford said Thursday his city’s first quarter sales tax rose from $868,000 last year to $901,000 this year.

“Anytime you have an increase in sales tax collections, it’s obviously good,” Gifford said.

The total first quarter sales tax for Fulton County’s towns and villages was up by a less modest $180,548. That figure represented an increase from about $1.49 million received in 2017 to about $1.67 million for 2018.

These town and village 2018 first quarter sales tax distribution figures were registered throughout the county: town of Bleecker — $65,285 (up $5,290); town of Broadalbin — $205,399 (up $20,097); village of Broadalbin — $40,832 (up $3,956); town of Caroga — $161,330 (up $10,034); town of Ephratah — $56.078 (up $7,807); town of Johnstown — $292,118 (up $35,739); town of Mayfield — $291,789 (up $31,280); village of Mayfield — $28,154 (up $3,036); town of Northampton — $192,401 (up $25,369); village of Northville — $56,649 (up $7,470); town of Oppenheim — $59,000 (up $3,605); village of Dolgeville (part in Fulton County) — $2,716 (up $111); town of Perth — $148,186 (up $27,541); town of Stratford — $67,421 (down $471).

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

By Patricia Older

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