Broome County officials are scrambling to deal with a major shortfall in sales tax revenue.

County budget director Marie Kalka says an austerity plan has been implemented to address the problem.

The county collected about $2.5 million less in sales tax cash during the first three months of the year compared to the same period of 2013.

Kalka says the cost containment steps that are being taken should result in a "minimal impact" to county taxpayers.

In a statement, Broome County Executive Debra Preston described the issue as "alarming and serious."

Preston said she hopes the austerity measures being taken will get the county "back on track for the rest of the year."

County officials are blaming a series of factors for the gap between sales tax projections and the amount actually collected.

Officials suggested some of the reasons include the harsh winter and the expiration of unemployment benefits for many residents may have contributed to the shortfall.