Massena nets $595K in first quarter

MASSENA — Sales tax revenue for the village of Massena is off to a good start for the first quarter.

Treasurer Kevin Felt told trustees during their meeting on Tuesday that they had received $594,944 from the county for the first quarter.

“This is a $65,855, or 12.45% increase over the same period last year,” Mr. Felt said.

He said they’ve budgeted $1,975,000 for the year.

St. Lawrence County Legislator Rita Curran, R-Massena, was present for Tuesday’s meeting and noted that county sales tax was up for the quarter.

“Unexpectedly,” she said, “but it’s due to the online sales tax for sure.”

St. Lawrence County experienced a 4.6% increase in revenue in October over October 2019, going from $4.8 million last year to $5 million this year. From January to October this year, revenue is up 5.6%, rising from $50.3 million over the same period last year to $53.1 million this year.

Meanwhile, Ms. Curran said negotiations over sales tax are continuing with the city of Ogdensburg.

“We do not have a deal yet on the sales tax with Ogdensburg,” she said.

The sales tax negotiations concern the eighth cent of sales tax in St. Lawrence County and how it’s distributed among the county’s municipalities.

Last month, the county and city, which has the sole right to negotiate with the county, agreed to stick to the expired plan for one year.

The expired plan allots 6.44% of the extra 1% to the city, while the remaining towns and villages split 10%. The county retains 83.6% of the extra 1%.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Mr. Felt also reported that they had collected $5,970,290, or 92.35% of the total village tax due by the end of the tax collection period on Sept. 30.

“This compares to 92.35% last year. That’s the same percentage as it was last year, so no change,” he said.

Trustees approved a resolution to return $494,232.93 in unpaid taxes, representing 337 parcels, to the county treasurer for collection. The amount of interest and fees owed was $35,332.62, so Mr. Felt said they would receive a total payment of $529,565.56 from the county in February. That compares to $522,818.44 received last year on 314 parcels.

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