Tale of Two Curves: COVID-19 cases in Onondaga County down but so is sales tax

Coronavirus

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon spoke about the tale of two curves during his briefing on Thursday.

Onondaga County’s COVID-19 curve continues the flatten even as college students returned to campus and teachers get tested before heading back to the classroom. Back-to-school testing in combination with Syracuse University’s pooled saliva tests, over 28,000, have only had one positive case. Onondaga County’s 7-day infection rate is .77%.

Nine more people tested positive for COVID-19, eight of those cases are from community spread. The Health Department is monitoring 175 active cases. 14 people are in the hospital but no one with COVID is in the ICU. To date there have been 3,419 recoveries.

While the coronavirus data continues to improve, sales tax payments to Onondaga County continue to decline. The latest payment represents July and August. It totaled $22,648,988. That’s over a $3 million decrease year over year for Onondaga County. “The devastating economic consequences of this pandemic cannot be overstated,” said McMahon. Onondaga County is down over $29 million for the 2020 budget.

On Wednesday the Legislature gave Onondaga County the flexibility to layoff workers as needed to fill the budget gap.

McMahon said union leadership has reached out to discuss the possibilities of furloughs. He said there’s no way to avoid workforce disruptions at this point and the County may be looking at a blend of furloughs and layoffs to close the budget gap and those cuts may happen within the next week or two.

The next sales tax payment is expected in October.


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