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Sales tax revenues continue to inch upward

Thursday, February 07, 2013 - Updated: 8:44 AM

By JAIME STUDD

Recorder News Staff

FONDA — For the fourth straight quarter, sales tax revenues in Montgomery County have inched upward.

Figures recently released by Montgomery County Treasurer Shawn Bowerman indicate that sales in the months of October, November and December were up by more than $400,000 over the same period last year and by more than $700,000 from the fourth quarter of 2010.

“We’ve seen an improvement the last few quarters,” Bowerman said. “The third quarter was up minimally, about $50,000, but the fourth quarter was up pretty significantly.”

He did note, however, that approximately $120,000 of the fourth quarter increase was due to a prior period adjustment, making the increase actually closer to $280,000.

Bowerman also noted that the county saw increases in its sales tax revenue in both the first and second quarters of this year as well.

“It’s a good sign and I hope it will continue,” Bowerman said. “It was a good year. It did exceed quite a bit what was budgeted for 2012.”

“However, the board did increase the budget for  2013 for expected sales tax, so now we have to hope we meet that,” he continued, adding that he was “cautiously optimistic” that such a goal could be achieved.

Bowerman said there may be several reason’s for the increase this quarter, including the rising cost of fuel, the opening of new stores on Route 30 in Amsterdam and the Christmas shopping season.

“It could be a sign that things are improving or it could be a sign that people were staying closer to home to do their shopping,” Bowerman said.

Despite the continuous growth throughout the course of 2012, Bowerman was hesitant to declare it as a sign of permanent economic recovery.

“We’ll have to see if the growth continues,” said Bowerman. “I think we’re going to start seeing a leveling out.”

     

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