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.
Saturday, 20 September 2014 00:00
Last year, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer stopped at Moby Drugs in Farmingdale to highlight the launch of a drug take-back program, which was designed to help residents remove addictive prescriptions out of their medicine cabinets.
Yet, despite studies conducted by the Center for Disease Control—which found 70 percent of those addicted to prescription drugs get them from home, family or friends—federal regulations have prevented pharmacies in New York State from hosting the take-back program.
Friday, 19 September 2014 08:38
Lt. Matt Komorowski of Farmingdale was recently honored with the first annual American Heroes award, for showing bravery when faced with impossible odds.
On Sept. 11, 2001, Komorowski was one of six FDNY firefighters with Ladder Co. 6, called to the World Trade Center just a short while before the tower collapsed. Arriving at the scene, Komorowski and the members of his ladder company rushed inside the building. As they rushed up the stairs the men of Ladder 6 stopped to assist Josephine Harris, a then 60-year-old Brooklyn grandmother, who was stuck in the stairwell of the building.
Thursday, 11 September 2014 00:00
The 2014 Farmingdale Flag Football season kicked off with a blast on Sept. 7.
3rd Grade Division
The Texans and the Jets played a great opening weekend game, with the Texans getting the victory. For the Texans, touchdown pass from Joseph Spano to Jaxon Parisi with 20 seconds in the half broke a tie that the Jets never came back from. The Jets were led by Brendan O’Keefe, who had two rushing touchdowns and Jimmy Caputo, who picked off a pass at the goal line.
Thursday, 11 September 2014 00:00
Farmingdale State College’s women’s tennis team opened the 2014 season with an 8-1 victory over John Jay College (0-1) on Sept. 3. The Rams (1-0) held a 2-1 advantage after doubles play before sweeping the singles matches.