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Madison County's sales tax revenues fail to dazzle

Sales tax revenue was about on target as of the Madison County Board of Supervisors' Finance, Ways and Means Committee meeting of Dec. 7, according to Treasurer Cindy Edick. Edick said budget projections for 2007 were held at 2006's figure, as the county came up a bit short last year.

For the first three quarters this year, the county is about $430,000 ahead of 2006's projections of revenue retained by the county.

"If it holds the same as last year, we'll wind up about $115,000 short," Edick said. "We have seen an increase from 2006 over the last two quarters."

County administrative assistant Russell Lura said a lot of e-mails went back and forth among budget officers all over the state recently, and many counties are reporting being as much as $400,000 short of projections.

Edick said the county is about $56,000 ahead of projections for November, of which the county retains about 58 percent. She said there's not much change in Off-Track Betting proceeds from last year's figures.

"We had been optimistic with Vernon Downs reopening," Edick said.

But those projections have fallen short, and Vernon Downs' owners recently have announced that they may have to close the facility due to lower-than-expected profits. In addition, the popular diner The Mason Jar and recently re-opened Shady Grill have closed. The Town and Country Restaurant was recently sold, purchased by Abe Acee, owner of the Nothin' Fancy Caf (c) in Vernon.

Acee is still working to reopen the former Town and Country.

OTB proceeds are put into a capital reserve fund for major projects, Lura said.

"The original resolution established OTB revenue to be used only for debt service," said Supervisor Richard O. Bargabos (R -- Smithfield).

Edick said a project funded through the New York Power Authority will be paid off this calendar year, and the jail capital project will be paid off in 2009.

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