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Oswego County is lone county in NY to experience sales tax decrease in 2021

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Every single county in New York saw an increase in sales taxes from the first part of 2021 compared to this time last year except for Oswego County.

Sales tax collections statewide in April were more than 45% improved from April 2020 and the growth is widespread. January to May collections are up 17.5% in Onondaga County, 15% in Oneida County, and 20% in Jefferson County.

Meanwhile, Oswego County is down 2.6%, but CEO of the Oswego County Industrial Development Agency Michael Treadwell  believes these figures are misleading.

"I don't view it as negative because I think the reason we didn't have the same percentage increase is because we didn't drop as low as most of the counties in New York state," Treadwell said.

Treadwell notes that Oswego County's unemployment rate was lower than New York's throughout the pandemic and that the loss of businesses was not as stark there as it was in other parts of the state during 2020, like in New York City. Still, he acknowledges that Oswego County took its share of losses during the pandemic - specifically the tourism industry that makes up a big part of its economy as well as other sectors like manufacturing. For example, the company Attis has dropped its plans last year to reopen a former ethanol plant in Volney. 

There is reason to believe, though, that things may be changing in Oswego County even if the sales tax figures don't reflect it yet.

"We are, as an economic development organization, seeing a lot of activity -recent activity- in the last 2-3 months on many projects that have been on hold that are now moving back," He said. 

Treadwell notes that Fulton is finally moving forward with its Downtown Revitalization Initiative grants and he said there are new restaurants and a flurry of construction happening in the City of Oswego where sales tax collections were up 61% in April.