Bucking the prevailing trend, county mortgage tax receipts are increasing

QUEENSBURY - After slump in revenue occurring during the recent economic upheaval, Warren County mortgage tax receipts are now rebounding, and are now running above last year's level.

The county's portion of its 1.25 percent mortgage tax is $509,439 for June, compared with $398,363 for June 2008, a hefty increase over last year, according to figures supplied by County Clerk Pamela Vogel.

If this upswing in revenue occurring over the past several months continues its clear trend over the rest of 2009, the county may beat the budgeted revenues of $3.4 million for her department, Vogel said this week.

Vogel cautioned, however, that a portion of the increase is due to the mortgage tax being boosted last year from 1 percent to 1.25 percent. But even allowing for that change in rates, the mortgage tax revenues are increasing at an accelerating rate, and June's receipts are showing they are continuing upward.

The mortgage tax is paid to the county clerk when a property owner records a mortgage at the time of a property sale or re-financing.

County Budget Officer Kevin Geraghty said he was pleased by the increase, and was hoping it would continue so it might make a dent in the county's projected $2.3 million shortfall for 2010.

"We'll be more than pleased if we hit our revenue targets," he said. "This is really positive news."

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