Ulster County Comptroller explores potential COVID-19 revenue impacts

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KINGSTON – “COVID-19 is likely to have substantial negative impacts on Ulster County sales and use tax as well as real property tax revenues,” said County Comptroller March Gallagher.

The comptroller has published a discussion brief of potential revenue impacts as a result of COVID-19. 

“While quantification is not possible at this time, analysis of historical data on sales and property tax collections and delinquencies will help policymakers, businesses, and residents gain an understanding of potential impacts. Without large-scale federal or state assistance, COVID-19 revenue impacts will have negative impacts on Ulster County’s fiscal health and may impact county-delivered services.”

Ulster County Comptroller March Gallagher

Local sales and use and real property taxes make up 63 percent of Ulster County budgeted revenues. These sources of local revenues may experience significant multi-year declines. Sales tax depends on tourism and resident spending which are likely to contract. COVID-19 will also impact other county revenue sources such as occupancy tax and departmental revenues such as fees and fines. 

Sales tax impacts will affect Ulster County, the towns and the City of Kingston. Real property delinquencies will impact the County, the City, and villages in Ulster County. 

Revenue losses may be made up by state and federal aid but that is not known at this time. Significant impacts are anticipated in all County tax, fee and fine 2020 budget revenue categories. 

The full discussion brief can be found at https://comptroller.ulstercountyny.gov/audit-reports/2020-revenue-impacts-covid-19-ulster-county .