Written by George Maragos Thursday, 03 April 2014 00:00
Sales tax revenue is the County’s biggest source of income, accounting for over 40 percent of total annual revenues. Therefore, it is gratifying that the final sales tax figures for 2013 show an increase of 6.3 percent to $1.13 billion over the prior year. This was on top of another healthy increase of 4.2 percent in 2012.
Yet, some worrisome signs appeared towards the end of 2013. The sales tax revenue during the holiday shopping season declined 12.4 percent compared to a year before. One reason for the drop in sales tax receipts towards year-end may have been a shift in consumer shopping habits from brick-and-mortar stores to online, which reduced the amount of sales tax revenue. Another factor for the drop-off in holiday sales tax receipts may also be due in part to flat income growth for consumers; income grew only .25 percent in November and not at all in December.
At first glance, a mix of flat income growth and shift to online commerce looked troubling. However, a recent federal court decision requiring online vendors collect and submit sales tax has boosted revenues, up about 9.7 percent in January-February, based on sales that were not taxed before 2014. This trend is anticipated to provide higher sales tax revenues in 2014 than the two-percent growth projected in the budget.
The bad news is that the accelerating shift to online sales will mean potentially lower sales for brick-and-mortar stores and less local retail jobs. Additionally, the absence of income growth will further dampen sales and jobs.
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 10:04
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman recently announced that 258 campus police officers at 12 SUNY schools—including SUNY Farmingdale State College—are being armed with naloxone, an extremely effective heroin antidote that can instantly undo the effects of an opioid or heroin overdose.
The antidote, more commonly known as Narcan, will be provided as part of Schneiderman’s Community Overdose Prevention Program, which uses funds seized from drug dealers and other criminals to reimburse local police departments for the cost of naloxone kits.
Friday, 22 August 2014 00:00
Oyster Bay Town officials are mulling an override of the state’s 2 percent property tax cap for the second consecutive fiscal year. On Aug. 12, the town held a hearing to approve local legislation, giving the Town Council authority to pierce the cap.
However, according to Marta Kane, a spokesperson with the Town of Oyster Bay, Supervisor John Venditto and the members of the Oyster Bay Town Council are not certain if they will entertain a repeat of last year, when the board adopted a $277 million budget, increasing the tax levy by $15,964,647—or 8.8 percent.
Thursday, 21 August 2014 00:00
Register now as classes fill up quickly and you don’t want to miss out on the chance to join in trapeze workshops at Eisenhower Park’s I.FLY this fall.
“I.FLY was designed to give kids and adults the ability to fulfill their dreams of being in the circus,” says instructor Anthony Rosamilia. “Flying through the air never gets boring. At I.FLY, we help people create lifelong memories.”
Thursday, 21 August 2014 00:00
After more than a month of group play, on Aug. 16, fourteen teams went head-to-head for a shot at the 2014 Farmingdale Baseball League’s 9/11 Tournament Championship. Here are some highlights from Saturday’s championships.
Long Island Rangers 8 - Farmingdale Greendogs 9