Friday, May 20, 2011

First quarter report shows Ulster economy is slowly rebounding

KINGSTON – The 2011 first quarter financial report for Ulster County government could signal a turnaround in the economy.

County Comptroller Elliott Auerbach released the report Thursday noting that the property tax collection rate is at 97 percent, a figure he called “really healthy,” and the sales tax is up 5.1 percent above the same period last year.

County spending is down from the same quarter in 2010, another good sign, he said.

“Equally as important is that the actual total salary and fringe benefit expenditures decreased $1 million from 2010 to 2011, and this was a decrease that was preceded by four years of constant salary increases and expenses,” he said. “So, the decrease symbolizes the fact that the exec and his office have taken seriously the necessity to do cutbacks.”

Auerbach has been pushing the county to use performance-based budgeting.

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