JAMESTOWN – Although Chautauqua County had a successful year when it comes to sales tax revenue, the same can’t be said for the city of Jamestown.
On Monday night city comptroller Joe Bellitto delivered the final 2016 sales tax revenue numbers to Jamestown City Council members, saying the city finished at 2 percent lower than what was projected for the year.
Bellitto said the total sales tax revenue for the city was just under $5,876,000 for the year, about $114,000 less than the $5,990,000 that was budgeted.
Bellitto added that the city was down nearly 4 percent in the last quarter of the year, compared to 2015. The total amount of sales tax received in 2015 was $5,957,000 – about 1.4 percent more than what was brought in in 2016.
Given the poor sales tax performance for 2016, the 2017 projection is now appearing rather ambitious. In the final 2017 city budget approved by the City Council last November, the sales tax revenue line was set for $6,000,000.
The decrease in sales tax revenue is a contrast to what the county saw, with total sales tax collections growing by more than 4 percent. That upswing was largely due to a .5 percent increase in the sales tax rate starting in 2016, with the county keeping all the money raised through that increase and not sharing it with any other local government.
However, the trend in Jamestown is similar to what much of the rest of New York State is seeing, with the state comptroller going as far as to issue a warning about the potential for lagging sales tax revenue growth in a report issued at the end of last month.