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Politics & Government

Sales Tax Revenue Continues To Fall, Outdoor Seating At Restaurants Resumes In CNY

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WAER File Photo
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Onondaga County received sales tax receipts, and they continue to indicate financial challenges ahead. Payments were off 37%, which is $9 million less than last year. The County Legislature is considering reinstituting a decades dormant energy tax, which is one of the only ways the county government has found to raise revenue.

County Executive Ryan McMahon said because the ability to raise revenue is limited, there are two larger possibilities. 

“So you’re really just talking about cuts or the federal government coming in to help you,” said McMahon. “We’ll exercise some of our rainy day fund, but we can’t use all of it or our credit rating will drop down to junk bonds. Then we won’t be able to borrow for projects. So there are certain things you just can’t do because you’ve got to live to fight another day.”

McMahon said depending on what aids are received and what cuts are made, the County is looking at a $60-100 million shortfall. But good news accompanied grim sales tax receipts. Outdoor seating will be allowed at local restaurants. McMahon said he’s happy people will have the chance to enjoy local restaurants again.

“Many, many of these restaurants are facing decisions whether to stay open or closed,” said McMahon. “We really need to support our local Mom and Pop shop restaurants now. Keep them going, Let’s get them going. Keep them busy.”

McMahon said it’s also an opportunity to collect more public health data as economies slowly reopen. Indoor seating at New York restaurants is planned to resume in Phase Three.