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Sales tax revenue grows almost 8 percent in county

Collection increases by $6.5M in 2011, ranked 14th among upstate counties

— Rosy sales tax revenue figures have Schenectady County officials optimistic for continued growth to ease the burden on taxpayers.

Schenectady County sales tax collections increased 7.9 percent in 2011, which was the second largest growth in the Capital District and fourteenth largest in Upstate New York. The county collected $89 million last year, an increase of $6.5 million from 2010 collections.

Sales tax receipts also surpassed the budgeted amount for 2011 by almost $4.8 million. If the trend continues, sales tax revenue would surpass the 2012 budgeted amount of $88.8 million, according to county officials.

Chairwoman of the Schenectady County Legislature Judy Dagostino touted economic development projects through the county as efforts to continue revenue growth.

“The sales tax numbers reflect positively on our efforts to continue to grow the Schenectady County economy,” Dagostino said in a statement. “With the addition of ShopRite in Niskayuna, the new Target store in Glenville opening in (October) 2012, the continued revitalization of downtown and the successful redevelopment of Capitol Plaza in Rotterdam, we are hopeful that we will continue to see increased sales tax activity in 2012.”

Towns and villages throughout the county will also receive a direct revenue increase from Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority through sales tax collections totaling more than $3.3 million for 2011. This is also the largest Metroplex payment given to local governments.

The county currently has an 8 percent sales tax and 0.5 percent of the revenue goes directly to Metroplex. Then 30 percent of that revenue is given to municipalities within the county, with the remaining 70 percent retained by Metroplex to help fund economic development projects.

“We are pleased that increasing sales tax revenues help our local government partners realize additional revenues as a result of the Metroplex funding,” said Ray Gillen, chairman of Metroplex.

The total amount given to each municipality in 2011 is as follows: Rotterdam at $1.1 million, Princetown at $80,000, Niskayuna at $815,00, Scotia at $289,000, Glenville at $814,000, Delanson at $14,250 and Duanesburg at $215,000. Since Metroplex was founded in 1999, municipalities have received a total of $38.5 million

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