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County’s Economic Good News And Bad News

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. 

 

News

At a recent meeting of the Farmingdale Board of Education, school district superintendent John Lorentz discussed New York State’s proposal to invest $2 billion into districts statewide

through the Smart Schools Bond Act.

 

If approved by voters in the upcoming general elections, the act would allow the state to borrow $2 billion in the form of a capital bond to provide students with access to classroom

technology and high-speed internet connectivity, with the goal of equalizing opportunities for children to learn, adding classroom space, expanding pre-kindergarten programs, replacing classroom trailers with permanent instructional space and installing high-tech security features in schools. 

Over the weekend, thousands of Long Island residents flocked to the Village of Farmingdale for its 26th annual Columbus Day Weekend Fair and Fireman’s carnival. Running from Oct. 9

to 13, the five-day affair featured live music from Farmingdale’s own Electric Dudes and Long Island party band Superbad, a Fire Department barbecue, food vendors, a street fair, fireworks, carnival rides, games for kids of all ages and, of course, the Columbus Day parade. 


Sports

Last week, officials with the St. Kilian Saints baseball team inducted John Lombardi and Aaron Powell into their Hall of Fame. 

 

—Submitted by Farmingdale PAL and St. Kilian Baseball 


The 2014 Reilly Cup finals featured the two most successful OTHG teams over the last 9 years. Sal’s Place and Singleton’s have had 11 finals appearances and 7 championships between them during this period of time. They split 2 games during the regular season and Singleton’s became the winner’s bracket representative in the 2014 Cup by beating Sal’s deep in the tournament.

 

Sal’s took the first game 14-7. The game was close until the 8th inning when Sal’s broke it open with some timely hits and taking advantage of a Singleton’s miscue or two.  Sal’s held

Singleton’s to 7 runs with outstanding all-around defense, which was particularly impressive given that some of their significant contributors were visibly fighting through late-season injuries. 


Calendar

Homecoming - October 24

Autumn Fair - October 25

St. Kilian Blood Drive - October 26


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com