Closure of Pembroke Plaza on Thurway could impact county sales tax
Submitted by Howard Owens on March 18, 2009 - 3:08pm
BATAVIA, N.Y. -- County officials are concerned that the closure of the Pembroke Plaza service area on the Thruway is costing the county sales tax revenue and they're looking to the state for help.
It's impossible to estimate the potential lose in fuel and sales tax because precise business tax information is confidential, according to County Manager Jay Gsell, but such taxes are an important source of revenue for the county.
The issue was raised by Legislator Mary Pat Hancock at Monday's Public Safety Committee meeting and Legislator Jay Grasso accepted the assignment of talking with State Sen. Mike Ranzenhofer.
Grasso works part-time for Ranzenhofer.
"Our first approach is to go through the appropriate channels as far as seeking insight or getting in touch with the right people," Gsell said.
One option, Gsell said, is to convince the Thruway Authority to erect signs letting people know fuel and convenience stores are located at Exit 48-A.
"It's a fairly close alternative," Gsell said. "Pricingwise, it's more competitive, or that's our anecdotal understanding, than what you might typically get at a rest stop."
Directing drivers to an alternative stop in Genesee County will help keep some of that revenue in the County, Gsell said.
Here's the section of the minutes covering the Pembroke Plaza issue:
Legislator Hancock reported that she became aware that the Thruway Gas Plaza in Pembroke was being closed today for renovations and it could remain closed for “several months.” This could have a big impact on Genesee County Sales Tax and she is anxious for everything possible to be done to try and redirect travelers to exit the thruway to make their gas purchases in Genesee County. Closing this particular Plaza for gas sales means no gas from Angola to Scottsville which could be dangerous to travelers. It was the consensus of the Committee that Chair Grasso will speak to Senator Ranzenhofer to see what might be done to assist in this matter with the Thruway Authority.
I have a call into Jay Grasso to see if he has anything to add, or he can leave a comment.
UPDATE: Jay Grasso called me as I was driving home, so I couldn't take notes. Hopefully, we can talk more later, but the main point is: A sign did happen to go up Monday evening suggesting 48-A as alternative.