Steuben sales tax revenues down

Mary Perham

Sales tax revenues in Steuben County dipped for the second straight quarter, with total third quarter revenues down about $500,000 compared to the same quarter in 2011.

According to the county Treasurer’s office, sales tax receipts from June through August this year came in at $13.6 million – a drop of $557,000 compared to $14.2 million in tax receipts reported during the same quarter in 2011.

The drop follows a slight decrease in second quarter receipts this year, when total revenues were pegged at $12.6 million – a drop of roughly $137,000 or 1 percent compared to $12.8 million in tax receipts reported during the same quarter in 2011.

However, first quarter sales tax revenues were unusually robust this year, at $12.7 million, coming in $1.6 million higher than first quarter tallies of $10. 9 million in 2011.

The decline is a disappointment for county officials since sales tax earnings typically make up as much as 20 percent of revenues used to offset the tax levy.  

 County Treasurer Pat Donnelly said the drop was likely due to minor fluctuations and could not be pinpointed to specific reason, such as lower gasoline prices or a drop in retail sales.

 Third quarter revenues for Steuben were posted at $7.9 million, while towns and villages split $3.8 million.

 The City of Corning received more than $715,000 during the third quarter, with the City of Hornell garnering about $638,000. The cities also split a 1 percent sales tax total of $557,500.