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2011 vs. 2012: sales tax down for December, up for the year

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Jefferson County is down 9.63 percent in December sales tax revenue compared to 2011 but up 5.25 percent for the year, according to fourth quarter figures released Friday by Scott A. Gray, chairman of the Board of Legislators Finance and Rules Committee.

“December was something less than stellar,” Mr. Gray said in an e-mail message.

“The good news,” as Mr. Gray described it, is that sales tax generated a total increase of $1.7 million over 2011, a figure nearly $1.1 million higher than what was budgeted.

In November, county officials said they expected to surpass $34 million in sales tax revenue for 2012 due to growth in Ft. Drum and Canadian shoppers. Total sales tax revenue was $34,092,653 in 2012 compared to 32,392,345 in 2011.

Optimism fueled by the predicted figure played a significant role in halving a 4.4 percent proposed tax levy hike in the 2013 budget.

Mr. Gray said the county would need to collect only $157,347 more than last year to reach its 2013 budget target of $34,250,000.

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