City Sales Tax Collections Need Smart Auditing to See if Businesses Are Paying Their Share Per Square Foot

WPCNR THE LETTER TICKER. JULY 14, 2014:

Hi John,
I hope all is well.  I just finished watching the show  (WHITE PLAINS WEEK,www.whiteplainsweek.com ) from last week and have a couple of questions/comments.
1) Regarding WP Sales Tax… Mr. B. is right on the money when he states the City needs to take a closer look at the entire Sales Tax issue.  Not sure exact words but in essence:
Does anyone study the receipts by business sector?  For example, if you group date for the last five years for Restaurants/Bars in the Mamaroneck/Post Road area,  do any irregularities pop up?   Using Sales Tax collected divided by square footage…the resulting numbers should be quite uniform…are they?
I don’t think anyone studies anything – I think they multiply by a small, historical growth rate and throw the number in the budget.  In other words, NO ONE HAS ANY IDEA WHAT WE SHOULD EXPECT TO RECEIVE per square foot (within an industry group).
I am sure the ups & downs of the economy, the online purchasers,  the draconian parking enforcement, etc., all combine to reduce collections BUT my question is that with the computing power available in 2014, WP should be avail themselves of far more sophisticated planning & analysis tools.
In the first place, I wish that WP was not so dependent on sales tax (the most regressive type of tax) but we are…and we really need better estimate, promote (change parking policy), and ENFORCE collection of Sales Tax Revenue.
2) My second question involves the close of the show where you and Mr. B. commented that failure to approve FASNY would spell economic disaster.
HOW SO???  They pay no sales tax or property tax!  The construction people will benefit for less than two years and the vast majority will be from outside WP.  The increased traffic and congestion will bring chaos to the South End.
Does anyone really think that these people paying $30K tuition are sending their darlings on a school bus?  The people in the three current neighborhoods cannot stand the FASNY traffic – every student comes by private vehicle (the previous tenants were mostly local walkers you will not see them testify since they cannot wait for FASNY to vacate.)
How does the conservancy benefit anyone in WP, beyond walking distance?  Where would a person from the Highlands park their car while they enjoy the conservancy grounds?
Finally, you see the mess on North Street every day around the HS entrance/exit…it will be far, far worse when the new intersection is established.
I live in the North End and I will not be inconvenienced either way… but I see NO ECONOMIC BENEFIT TO APPROVAL OF THIS USE and lots of harm to the South End,,,
3)  Finally, we desperately need to revise the City’s Comprehensive Plan.  It was produced more than twenty years ago.  The analysis is from 92 & 93.  It is woefully out-of-date
Best Regards,
Terry Conroy
White Plains, NY.

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