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Layoffs, furloughs on hold in Onondaga County thanks to boost in sales tax revenue

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO News (file photo)

Onondaga County officials got some good financial news Monday for the first time in months.  The county's latest sales tax payment is up $10 million over last year. The $37.8 million payment was so high, Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said he called state officials asking if it was a mistake.

He said the boost in revenue means the county will not have to lay off or furlough any employees this month.

"Because of this increase of this payment, we will not have any more workforce disruptions in October," he said. "Again, assuming our second October payment goes well, that will extend through November, but we have to see where that is."

McMahon said it’s clear that 30,000 college students coming to central New York is the biggest reason sales tax revenues are up. 

"Even though at times it was a lot of work to keep the economy open and get kids back to college, and there was a lot of anxiety about bringing 30,000 kids to the community, there is no question that that spending power drove this payment," he said.

Despite the financial boost, the county is still facing a $19 million deficit caused by the coronavirus pandemic.