Incomes in New York dropped 1.4 percent between 2008 and 2011. But in one county, incomes soared.
The county sits on the Pennsylvania border, where natural-gas drilling has been booming and has had a remarkable spillover in nearby Elmira.
The growth in median household income in Chemung compared to the rest of the state wasn’t even close. It was the only county to grow income by double digits in 2008 compared to 2011. The next highest was Rensselaer County at 7 percent.
Statewide, the median household income was $55,246 in 2011. It was $56,033 in 2008. Nationally, it was $50,502 in 2011.
Chemung County Executive Thomas Santulli said yesterday the county has benefited from gas drilling in Pennsylvania and also expansions at Corning Inc. and Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.
But gas drilling has had the biggest impact, he said. In recent years, 27 gas companies have located in Chemung, creating 1,200 to 1,400 jobs, Santulli said.
“Natural gas is the new addition, and I know that has had an impact,” he said.
Chemung County has also outpaced the rest of the state in sales-tax revenue. In 2010, sales-tax revenue in Chemung was up 13 percent for the year, the largest increase in the state amid the height of the fracking boom.
New York hasn’t decided on whether to move forward with fracking. Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy said this morning that, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is “moving in the direction of making a decision.”