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City of Auburn hit hardest by sale tax decline

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Sales tax

All levels of government within Cayuga County that rely on sales tax revenue to help balance their budgets are seeing decreases through September, with the city of Auburn getting hit the hardest.

The Cayuga County Treasurer's Office this week released sales tax distribution data for the year to date that show Auburn has received 8.8% less this year compared with the same time period of 2019. Auburn's total amount received so far is $5,812,000.

The sales tax collections that go into Cayuga County's budget have dropped by 5.3% to $15,013,000. Towns in Cayuga County have collectively received $8,088,000 so far, a drop of 3.4%, while village sales tax revenues have declined 2.7% to $1,113,000.

After the state takes a cut of sales taxes collected, Cayuga County receives a portion of sales tax revenues on transactions throughout the county and shares the revenue with the towns and villages. The city of Auburn collects sales taxes on transactions within its border.

The sales tax impact on local governments, along with cuts or freezes in aid from the financially struggling state government, is frequently cited by advocates for a new round of COVID-19 relief that would include state and local government aid.

Cayuga County's representatives in Congress, Republican U.S. Rep. John Katko and Democratic U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, support such aid, but Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Trump administration have been reluctant to agree to it.

On Tuesday, Katko was part of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus' proposal for a compromise package that would include about half of what was in a package approved by the Democratically controlled House of Represents in the spring.


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