WESTCHESTER COUNTY CONSUMERS SLOW SPENDING FOR 5TH CONSECUTIVE MONTH.

County Sales Tax $$ Continue Slump  White Plains Posts Anemic Numbers.

WPCNR QUILL & EYESHADE. By John F. Bailey. Statistics Issued From the New York State Department of Tax and Finance. December 21, 2018:

Westchester County consumers continued their slow rate of spending  for the fifth straight month in November.

The impact on the anticipated sales Tax Revenues expected by the county is significant since $578 Million was predicted by the County budget preparers in early November in a news conference.

Through November, County sales tax dollars are at $492 Million. Should the county receive the $53.6 Million in December they received in December 17, the county will bring in $545.6 Million. This will be the most sales tax revenues ever collected by the county. It is $20.1 Million more than last year.

The county predicted (in November when the budget was presented),  they would receive $578 Million.  In order for the county to hit that figure they would need $86 Million in sales tax $$ in December, $33 Millon more than they received in December of 2017. But you never can tell.

Recovery Spigot Closes to a Trickle

Through July of 2018, the county had averaged a 6% increase in spending. They slumped in July to 4.7% and started to fall steady.

In November the county went up only 1.2% over November of last years numbers.  ($42,070,143 this November compared to $41,570,401 in November, 2017).

Surplus Blues

The $20.1 Million Surplus in sales tax revenues will not cover most of the $39 Million county budget deficit, (unless of course there is a 50% increase in consumer activity in December, which is highly unlikely.

The $22 Million expected from turning the County Center parking lot into a bond that would generate the $22 Million by  taking out a $22 Million bond on the county owned County Center Parking lot , when added to the $20 Million sales tax surplus would cover the $39 Million for this next year.

Sales Tax Increase, please!

An increase in sales taxes effective midyear that might do. A ½% increase in the sales tax would generate $24 Million if enacted by midyear, and $48 Million  in 2020 which would clearly cover the County’s contracts for 2020, too. Then there’s always the chance the real estate market someday might turn around.

But, if consumers in the nation’s wealthiest county are not spending with enthusiasm now when the economy is “growing,” when will they begin?

White Plains Does Not Do Well Either in November.

White Plains sales revenues in November were brutal, down  5.8% $3,999,814 last month, compared to $4,244,624 in November, 2017. This is the first time White Plains has dipped below the $4 Million a month benchmark in a November since 2012 and 2011.

When you take inflation of 2% into account the city has lost 15% of its economy since 2012

After 5 months of fiscal 2018-19 , this leaves White Plains down  2.7% in sales tax revenues from the first 5 months of fiscal 2017-18 when the city was at $20,934,237 compared to $20,258,107 after November of this year

We are off more than half a million. This might be attributed to the disappearance of Walmart that left town in August.  But I am just guessing, since we do not get figures by individually taxed businesses.

White Plains a comeback Christmas.

If the city makes what they got last year $4,662,961,  they will be at $24,821,068 for the first six months. If they gather in $5 Million or more this would be a good thing to set them up for a average second half of the year, and they will make their budget.

The City of White Plains would also benefit from a sales tax increase as would the county.

 

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