Walmart Effect

JOHNSTOWN – The new Walmart Supercenter in Gloversville is boosting Gloversville and Fulton County’s sales tax revenues but causing a revenue drop in the towns.

Walmart moved from the town of Johnstown to Gloversville last summer.

Fulton County’s overall sales tax revenues went up by $133,000 in the first quarter.

Gloversville’s sales tax receipts increased by $247,194 from the previous year. The city received more than $1 million in revenue in the first quarter; it received $763,247 in the first quarter of 2013.

The city of Johnstown’s revenue also was up – a $233,601 increase over the first quarter of 2013.

The rest of the municipalities in the county, however, saw a decline in sales tax revenue in the first quarter, compared with last year’s first quarter.

County Treasurer Terry Blodgett said the drop in those municipalities may be temporary.

“Gloversville had a large increase because of the Walmart,” Blodgett said Tuesday.

Gloversville Mayor Dayton King said of the revenue increase, “I would definitely say the Walmart Supercenter has a ton to do with it.”

The 157,100-square-foot store on South Kingsboro Avenue Extension opened Aug. 14.

King said he would discuss figures with Gloversville Finance Commissioner Bruce VanGenderen.

Gloversville’s jump in sales tax exceeded the first-quarter increase in the city of Johnstown, which usually gets more revenue than Gloversville with its extensive Route 30A business activity.

The city of Johnstown took in $1.05 million compared to $824,123 a year ago.

Overall, the county’s first-quarter sales tax receipts increased by $133,832. The county received about $4.15 million in sales tax revenue for the first quarter of 2013 and about $4.28 million for the first quarter of this year.

Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce President Mark Kilmer said, “I think it’s all great news. Any increase in sales tax is great for the county and the city of Gloversville.”

Previously, the county saw sales tax increases of $72,527 for the fourth quarter and more than $400,000 for the third quarter.

The portion of sales tax revenue the county claims for itself increased by $529,257 for the first quarter. It went from $2.87 million a year ago to about $3.4 million for the first quarter.

Blodgett said sales tax revenues dropped in 27 of New York state’s 57 upstate counties in the first quarter.

“I think we’re headed in the correct direction, anyway,” he said.

Sales tax revenue plummeted by $395,425 in the county’s towns and villages. The revenue for those municipalities dropped from $1.28 million a year ago to $885,287 in the first quarter. The largest decrease was felt by the town of Mayfield, which had a $68,169 drop in revenue.

But Blodgett said the figures may be skewed. He explained the state Department of Taxation and Finance revised its figures and had to make adjustments for Fulton County’s sales tax going back to the fourth quarter. He said there was a “lag” in reporting the Walmart Supercenter effect.

He said the towns and villages share sales tax revenue outside the two cities. Now that Walmart has moved its store from the town of Johnstown to Gloversville, the towns “won’t see a dime of that” revenue previously brought in from the town of Johnstown store.

Blodgett said this “Walmart adjustment” for the towns and village disbursements amounted to $221,943. He said that collective group would have received $1,107,230 in sales tax without the adjustment.

Northampton Supervisor James Groff said today the towns are resigned to the loss in revenue.

“We all expected a reduction in sales tax because of Walmart,” Groff said.

He said he assumes this will be a permanent reduction of at least some sales tax receipts for the towns and villages.