Sales Tax Drop Spurs County Hiring Freeze

07.18.13 | Abby Lutcher

That's how Chemung County Executive Tom Santulli describes a 6.4% drop in sales tax revenue in the second quarter of this year. At this rate Chemung County will receive four million dollars less in sales tax than what was projected in this year's county budget. Santull says the City of Elmira would receive more than a million dollars less than it budgeted. Towns and villages will get less as well. Santulli says there will be a hiring freeze on county workers for the rest of the year.  He'll be meeting with unions to discuss changes that could help and there will be cuts in areas like travel. Santulli has also put together a group of business leaders for ideas on changes to government that he'll want to discuss with the towns, villages and city. During this week's taping of Twin Tiers Weekly Santulli said, "We're going to right the ship. It's going to mean some cuts. It's going to mean some changes. We're going to have to have a dialogue as a community I believe about how government needs to change the way it operates." Santulli says the slow down in gas drilling activity in the Northern Tier and the loss of Sikorski are two major reasons for the large drop in sales tax revenue.