BY JIMMY LAWTON
OGDENSBURG -- July sales tax receipts for Ogdensburg were down by $15,805 over the same month in 2016, but they remain up $106,237 overall for the year.
In a public update to city council, City Manager Sarah Purdy said the receipts are up 6.32 percent ahead of the same time last year, despite the July decline.
While the July numbers weren’t great, the fact the city remains below what it has budgeted for sales tax is good news for the city, which has struggled to stay under budget in the first half of the year.
In recent months Purdy warned the council that if Ogdensburg doesn’t alter its financial course soon, the city’s fund balance will be drained within two years. Since then, the city has faced a variety of unexpected expenses and has been shifting money in the budget in order to make up for potential shortfalls.
All of this comes after a 13 percent increase in the city’s tax rate last year and predictions from the city manager that a hike will be needed in the 2018 fiscal year as well.
Currently the city is on pace to surpass revenue expectations for sales tax, though not by much. To date the city has collected $1,714,003 in sales tax and has budgeted to collect $3,501,099. While any revenue beyond what has been budgeted will aid the city in it’s efforts to control spending, the additional sales tax is unlikely to have a strong impact.
To address the financial situation, the city has sought help from the state Financial Restructuring Board.
The FRB can also offer grants or loans of up to $5 million through the Local Government Performance and Efficiency Program for undertaking certain recommendations.