Ulster Comptroller report shows significant growth in several categories


KINGSTON – Ulster County Comptroller March Gallagher has released the 2021 First Quarter Financial Report which can be viewed here.   Gallagher says the report shows “Better than expected results across several revenue categories and consistent results in expenditures indicating signs of economic and financial improvement.”

The County recognized $112 million, or 33.7%, of budgeted revenues by the close of the first quarter,  slightly more than the same period in 2020. Sales tax revenue declined 8% from the same period in  2020, but preliminary second-quarter collections show a dramatic increase in sales tax revenues, indicating that sales tax will more than likely exceed budgeted values for the year, according to Gallagher.

Ulster County Comptroller March Gallagher.

Ulster County saw no decrease in real property tax recognized, collecting more than 100% of budgeted revenues despite the effects of the pandemic. Occupancy Tax collected was $317k in the first quarter of 2021, more than twice the $134k collected for the first quarter of 2020 (pre-pandemic), a 137% increase year over year.  Gallagher attributes the Occupancy Tax revenues to be likely a result of the agreement between Ulster County and Airbnb to collect the tax at the point of sale. 

Gallagher’s report also said overall spending in the first quarter remained generally consistent with 2020 expenditures, with a $394k increase in actual expenditures. This minimal increase was inclusive of retirement incentive payments that occurred during the First Quarter of 2021 and represent a one-time expense to the  County that will result in future savings through planned attrition.

Economic impacts, according to the report showed unemployment continued to mediate with large job gains including 2,600  new leisure and hospitality jobs added through June 2021. Prices, in general, have risen and the consumer price index increased 3.7%.

The Hudson Valley housing market has seen tremendous growth and in Ulster, home sales prices saw a 58% increase in median home sale price now documented between January 2019 and June 2021.  

Quarterly financial reports are mandated under §C-57(I) of the Ulster County Charter which requires the Comptroller’s Office to report quarterly on the financial condition of the County. 

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