Cayuga County ended the year with a significant increase in sales tax revenue compared with 2016, while the city of Auburn, which receives sales tax funds independently from the county, saw a slight decrease.
According to the year-end sales tax report from the Cayuga County Treasurer's Office, Cayuga County as a whole has seen a 7.4-percent increase in sales tax revenue from 2016 to 2017. In the same time frame, all Cayuga County town governments combined have received 12.6-percent more money from sales taxes. Cayuga County villages experienced the largest revenue increase, at 14.3 percent.
However, from 2016 to 2017, the city saw a 0.6-percent decrease. Auburn receives sales tax only from purchases made within the city, due to a preemption policy adopted by the city in the 1990s. While the city takes its share of taxes from transactions within its borders, the towns, villages and county government split up a portion, while the state takes the rest.
The end-of-the-year figures essentially continued the trend that was seen from figures reported by the county at the end of November 2017.
In November, neither city Comptroller Laura Wills nor county Treasurer Jim Orman said they could think of a reason as to why the city's sales tax revenues did not increase like the county's.
"Sales tax is very unpredictable," Wills said in a November interview, calling the city's decrease "not significant" in terms of its impact on Auburn's budget.
Orman said the extra revenue for the county, towns and villages is "a real benefit to taxpayers" because the funds can be used to offset other expenses that have gone over their projected budgets or put into fund balances for future expenses and projects.