BINGHAMTON, NY – Broome County is projecting an estimated 15 million dollar shortfall in sales tax revenues as a result of the coronavirus shutdown.
County Executive Jason Garnar says preliminary numbers from the state that include the first few weeks of the pandemic show a year-to-year reduction of about 1% in the amount of sales tax the county is receiving so far this calendar year.
However, Garnar says he expects that deficit to worsen considerably as data from subsequent weeks of the economic shutdown become available.
The County Exec says roughly 40 county employees have been approved for voluntary furloughs starting Monday and lasting through July.
He says state, county and local governments desperately need stimulus funding from Washington DC.
“We’re in the trenches fighting this crisis every day. Health Department, Emergency Services, we are the ones fighting this. So, if they can bail out big corporations, billion dollar corporations, they can certainly bail out local governments who are fighting this crisis,” says Garnar.
Of the 8% sales tax charged in Broome County, 4% goes to the state while the county takes slightly more than half of the other 4% and shares it with towns, villages and the City of Binghamton.
So, those municipalities could collectively be out almost the same amount.
Garnar has said that the Southern Tier region is on track to meet Governor Cuomo’s requirements for beginning to reopen the economy.
In order to help local businesses prepare for that transition, Garnar is holding a series of Zoom meetings with business people next week.