Treasurer

Washington County Treasurer Al Nolette, center, listens to a presentation in the rain recently. The plan, to improve parking lots at the county municipal center, might use some of the savings that he wants to protect. From left to right: Granville Supervisor Matt Hicks, county Administrator Chris DeBolt, Treasurer Al Nolette, Hartford Supervisor Dana Haff and consultant John Montagne.

Kathleen Moore, kmoore@poststar.com

FORT EDWARD — There’s good news at last for Washington County’s sales tax revenue.

Numbers are now in for the first half of the year, and the county is $90,000 ahead of projections.

Treasurer Al Nolette is now hopeful that the county might meet its budget for the revenue.

“I am cautiously optimistic,” he said, adding, “I’d be more than ecstatic to meet budget.”

Currently, the county is estimated to receive $10.7 million for the year, according to the first 14 estimated revenue reports from the state. There are 12 more revenue reporting periods.

That means there’s a lot of time for things to change, Nolette said.

“I reserve the right to be a little cautious. The trend this year has been so giveth, so taketh away,” he said.

But, overall, it has so far worked out in the county’s favor.

“Sales tax is up a little bit,” Nolette said.

The real measure comes in the third quarter, when the state checks its estimates against actual receipts. Sometimes — like in 2015 — the county’s total can take a deep cut if it turns out the estimates weren’t accurate.

But just meeting budget would be better than last year, when the county came in just short. It collected $200,000 less than it had budgeted.

The county still brought in $19.25 million, but supervisors had counted on getting $19.45 million.

This year, for the first time in many years, the Board of Supervisors did not increase its expectations for sales tax. The board stuck with $19.45 million as the budgeted amount in revenue.

The county had not budgeted to spend all of that revenue, but the loss impacted its savings. Nolette, who called himself the guard of the savings, wants to replenish it each year. The supervisors still use savings to balance the budget, so the savings will be drained over time if nothing replenishes it.

You can reach Kathleen Moore at 742-3247 or kmoore@poststar.com. Follow her on Twitter @ByKathleenMoore or at her blog on www.poststar.com.

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