Sales tax revenue in the black in Broome County

By Caroline Goggin

July 31, 2014 Updated Jul 31, 2014 at 6:31 PM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) After what many would label a depressing first quarter for Broome County sales tax revenue, things are looking up.

Current and projected numbers signal the beginning of a positive trend toward continued growth, according to county officials.

Local sales tax revenue was negative at the start of the year. Many attribute the lack of sales to the harsh winter.

The first quarter in Broome County ended up with figures in the red. However, the second has the area back in black with 2.83% of the budget accounting for sales tax revenue.

County officials hope figures for the rest of the year will remain in the positive.

"So we're certainly headed in the right direction," said Broome County Budget Director Marie Kalka. "We're optimistic that we are going to at least rebound. Maybe not to the point of making up the full shortfall from the budget, but certainly we've done expenditures. We've reduced expenditures and we're working with all of our departments to try and improve on that."

Workers at local stores said that despite the low numbers in sales tax revenue, they remain in good standing.

"Our traffic has been good over the last couple of months," said JCPenney store leader in Johnson City Mark Barnes. "We finished up with Mother's Day and Father's day, and we're going into kind of a transitional period until we go back to school. So, traffic has been good."

Officials told Action News that there is nothing they can do locally to help sales tax revenue.

All they can do is encourage consumers to shop locally, while hoping that consumer confidence will increase over time.