WPCNR QUILL & EYESHADE From the NYS Department of Taxation & Finance. October 24, 2018:
The City of White Plains got back on track after a lackluster August sales spell, with sales tax dollars rebounding 12.3% in September. White Plains is down a slight ¾ of a per cent from the 2017 figures at this time. (The city fiscal year begins in July and runs through June of 2019).
Westchester County sales tax dollars increased ½% in September with the important fourth quarter holiday sales period starting. Through the first 9 months of 2018, Westchester County has earned $408,569,137.
If the county matches its 2017 pace the next three months it will take in $136 Million, earning an all-time County Sales Tax “Handle” of $544 Million. Last year, the county earned $525.5 Million n sales taxes.
If the county resumes its 6% growth rate it has enjoyed through August the next three months that $544 Million could grow to $550 Million, giving the county enough surplus over last year ( when the county earned $525 Million) to cover the $15 Million hole in the budget from the county decision not to lease the Westchester county airport, and devote $10 Million more towards union settlements recently agreed by the County. (The deficit county auditors announced last spring placed the 2018 shortfall at $37 Million.)
The county itself is highly confident. In their midyear economic forecast in July, the county predicted a $555 Million sales tax revenue, even while downplaying the strong 6% growth rate.
The County Executive now faces the pleasant prospect of the sustained county sales tax growth (if it just matches last year in October, November and December) of having the deficit now down to $10 Million or less depending on free-spending confident shoppers flooding the malls and the bars.
The prospect of a property tax increase that is high enough to be fiscally responsible to the labor settlements while low enough to be politically correct with Westchester residents.