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Sales tax receipts slipping in Saratoga County

"Most of the people we've been talking to, the figures look about the same as last year," said Dalton.

In a statement, DiNapoli acknowledged that back-to-school spending could make a significant impact on revenue figures, but advised that now is the time to act on the available data.

"Just like the state, if local governments are not on track to meet their budgeted revenues for the year, they need to make adjustments in their spending now without placing a greater burden on local taxpayers," he said.

As he often has during the ongoing economic downturn, Dalton said that Saratoga County remains a good location to weather out the storm with relatively healthy and diversified business and industry.

"When you look at the economy in Saratoga County, you have a lot of legs to it," said Dalton.

As in many areas in New York, Saratoga County distributes its sales tax revenues to municipalities. Of the 7 percent sales tax rate in Saratoga, 4 percent is retained by the state.

Saratoga Springs is the only municipality to not receive county sales tax, having opted out of the equation in 2001.

The county planned to use $3 million from its general fund to balance this year's budget, and if revenues are off, it's likely the roughly $25 million contingency will be raided further. County officials have also been aggressively seeking to cut costs all year.

"It's a little early to make that determination," said Wickerham when asked about meeting tax projections. "Certainly the trends are not in a good direction."

In 2008, county sales tax revenues fell $1.7 million short of projections.

Statewide, just four out of New York's 57 counties experienced positive growth in sales tax receipts when compared to the same time period last year, according to the report. The declines translate into $291 million in lost county sales tax and $640 million in lost local sales tax collections (New York City included).

DiNapoli's report also noted that sales tax collection represents a significant part of county revenues " 27 percent in 2007 versus 21 percent in 1997.""

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