News, Politics, and Culture from 14895

By John Tucker

Sales Tax Revenue Bonanza In Belmont


The County Budget Committee Meeting Reveals Big Increase Over Last Year.

More good economic news for Allegany County: Retail sales are very strong and with increased economic activity at the I-86 Interchange, county coffers are filling. Allegany County Legislator and Budget Committee Chairman Brooke Harris of District 5, had this to say about the new cash:

“We’re fortunate to have the increase. Last month we were able to make a budget adjustment of $750,000 to our sales tax revenue line. That money will cover some unanticipated increases in payroll, and restock the depleted contingency account. If the trend continues, the extra revenue will definitely relieve some pressure on the tax levy.”

County Treasurer Terri Ross made the full report to the committee on May 19th:

Sales Tax Report
County Treasurer Terri Ross distributed the 2021 Allegany County Sales Tax Report
reflecting receipts totaling $8,642,466.70 through May 13, 2021. The year-to-date figures show an increase of $1,172,558.63 or 15.697 percent more compared to last year at this time. Ms. Ross noted after taking the quarterly Distressed Hospital Fund diversion and AIM payment out, the County netted $809,981.71, which still leaves the County up approximately 10.843 percent.
Committee Chairman Harris asked if there was a correction made that accounts for this increase. Ms. Ross stated she has sent a note to her contact who indicated there were no adjustments made to account for this increase; it is just sales. Legislator Hopkins asked if there is any way to determine how this increase might be attributed to the travel center at Crossroads. Ms. Ross stated they do get an occasional report that breaks sales down into different categories; however, she hasn’t received an updated report. Ms. Ross continued she assumes some of this increase is from Quicklee’s; however, she doesn’t get detailed information to know which vendors are up and which are down.
Revenue Reports
Ms. Ross distributed the revenue reports through April 30, stating they are in good shape
and have booked approximately 39 percent revenue for the year.

Expense Reports
Ms. Ross distributed the expense reports through April 30, stating we are at 39 percent of
expenses paid. Ms. Ross reminded the committee that last year at this time the County was
spending significant amounts of money on PPE and COVID-19 related expenses which we are
not doing this year.
2022 Budget
Ms. Ross stated they have a department head meeting set for June 9 where they will
present some information on the 2022 Budget, and they will expect to have budget requests back between July 12 and July 19 to give them time before presenting them to the Board at the August meetings.

What accounts for this happy news for Allegany County taxpayers? Legislator Harris gives us his “two-cents”:

“I think the increase can be attributed to a combination of factors, including the continued shift to online shopping, the federal stimulus checks, and higher gas prices. There’s no way to tell how much sales tax is being generated at the crossroads, but I’m sure it’s significant.

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