NORWICH – Despite some evidence of a slowly recovering local economy, a first glance of first quarter sales tax figures released by the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance for Chenango towns and villages might indicate otherwise.
Sales tax in all towns and villages in the county saw a decrease in first quarter sales tax compared to those of the first quarter in 2012. Overall, final figures indicate an 8.98 percent decrease ($100,218) in sales tax cash distributions to towns and villages compared to last year. Those percent decreases range from as little as 2.2 percent in the Town of Sherburne, to as much as 25.7 percent in the Village of Smyrna - a sure indication that people are spending less in the area.
Although the decrease appears to spell out bad news for the local economy, it isn’t without explantation, according to Chenango County Treasurer William Craine. Much of this year’s apparent decrease might be attributed to the spike in sales during the first quarter in 2012, he said, when a warm spring encouraged hundreds of homeowners to take-up rebuilding projects after tropical storms Irene and Lee devastated parts of the region in the fall of 2011.