Part IV: Sales Tax Allocation- Proposed changes for 2019 and 2020 and Impact
The Chemung County Legislature in a 12 to 2 vote (no votes from Rodney Strange and Peggy Woodard) last night passed a County Executive Office led effort to provide tax stabilization relief to the City of Elmira for the next two years which should result in no property tax increase for 2019 and 2020 if adopted by the City Council. This $1.3 million dollar deferment of shared service expenses for the city coupled with the creation of a joint city/county task force to look at long-term solutions for the city fiscal problems should be welcome news for tax stressed city residents. I would urge you to contact your city council members to vote yes on this critical relief package and not play politics with this issue. Failure to pass this package will result in sales tax collections being distributed to the city based on a default law that will result in a $170,000 loss to the city next year.
Additionally, last night’s package included a modification to the towns and villages sales tax collection distribution rate that will provide additional revenue of approximately $500,000 more per year for both 2019 and 2020. If the City Council rejects this package the towns and villages will also collect the additional $170,000 noted above based on population. This proposal comes as local jurisdictions are formulating their 2019 budgets and should allow for tax stabilization for your local governments and in some cases tax decreases.
These proposals were made possible by an improving local economy that has seen sales tax collections increase by 3.5 % in 2017 and 7% year to date in 2018. Likewise, these proposals are consistent with the promised ongoing review of the sales tax reallocation plan to determine if adjustments were needed and possible. These noted actions coupled with the County Executive’s announcement to hold the line on the 2019 county property tax rates, which will be the 14th straight year, should be welcomed news for all local taxpayers as your local governments continue to collaborate in our efforts to provide high-quality public services in the most cost-effective manner possible.
The last part of the sales tax allocation series comparing the plans of the candidates for Chemung County Executive will be posted after the Elmira City Council responds to these proposals by the October 16th county budget deadline.